River Plate vs Boca Juniors Copa Libertadores Semifinal First Leg Preview and Betting Picks

River Plate vs Boca Juniors Copa Libertadores Semifinal First Leg Preview and Betting Picks

River Plate vs. Boca Juniors

Tuesday, October 1 at 8:30 PM ET

Estadio Monumental

Coverage: beIN Sports, Fox Soccer Match Pass

Free Soccer Pick: Draw +236 at Pinnacle

The 2018 Copa Libertadores had the first Superclásico Final in an international competition. Boca Juniors hosted the first leg at La Bombonera on November 11 while the second leg had to take place at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid, Spain on December 9 because CONMEBOL suspended Estadio Monumental after the incidents that transpired before the start of the second leg of the Final against Boca Juniors.

River Plate won the Final 5–3 on aggregate to earn their fourth Copa Libertadores title. The first leg ended in a 2-2 draw and River Plate beat Boca Juniors 3-1 on extra time at Santiago Bernabéu. It was the last Copa Libertadores Final to take place over two legs, this year the Final will be played as a single match at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile.

How They Got Here

River Plate finished second in Group A behind Internacional while Boca Juniors won Group G after a close 2-1 victory against Athletico Paranaense at La Bombonera on Matchday 6. River Plate then beat Cruzeiro and Cerro Porteño to reach this stage while Boca Juniors advanced against Athletico Paranaense and Liga de Quito.

Recent Results & Prediction

River Plate beat Gimnasia La Plata 2-0 on Saturday afternoon while Boca Juniors is coming off a 1-1 draw against Newells Old Boys on Saturday night. River Plate didn’t play a great game but they did enough to overcome a weak Gimnasia La Plata team. Boca Juniors, on the other hand, struggled to generate opportunities to score and played poorly.

These results don’t tell us much about the recent form of the teams because their respective head coaches used alternative lineups to rest most of their star players. Boca Juniors is still in first place in the Superliga Argentina with 18 points in eight games but River Plate closed the gap and now they have 14 points, also in eight games.

Boca Juniors had a better performance in the group stage, which is why the first leg will be played at Estadio Monumental. These two teams met on September 1 for the Superliga Argentina and the game ended in a 0-0 draw at Estadio Monumental.

River Plate had better chances to win but Boca Juniors was able to keep a clean sheet and take one point home. It was the first time that these two teams played each other since the Copa Libertadores Final and there was plenty of tension in the air.

River Plate will be without Leonardo Ponzio and Juan Fernando Quintero but Lucas Pratto and Nicolás De La Cruz will be ready to go while Eduardo Salvio, Daniele De Rossi and Paolo Goltz were able to recover in time and will be available for Boca Juniors.

Here are the potential starting lineups for Tuesday night:

River Plate: Franco Armani; Gonzalo Montiel, Lucas Martínez Quarta, Paulo Díaz, Milton Casco; Enzo Pérez; Ignacio Fernández, Exequiel Palacios, Nicolás De La Cruz; Matías Suárez y Rafael Borré.

Boca Juniors: Esteban Andrada; Marcelo Weigandt, Lisandro López, Carlos Izquierdoz, Emmanuel Más; Iván Marcone, Nicolás Capaldo; Franco Soldano, Emanuel Reynoso, Alexis Mac Allister; Ramón Ábila.

Boca Juniors is still reeling from last year’s Copa Libertadores Final and they have a lot to prove. Look for head coach Gustavo Alfaro to use a similar strategy than in the last Superclásico.

River Plate will come out fired up, looking to take a lead to the second leg but Boca Juniors will present a conservative game plan, with two defensive midfielders in Marcone and Capaldo and ‘Wanchope’ Ábila as the only player up front, so they can get at least a draw and close the series at home.

I like the value that I get with a draw, Boca Juniors has a healthier roster and they already proved that they can contain River Plate on the road.

Free Soccer Pick: Draw +236 at Pinnacle