Boca Juniors and River Plate will play a friendly match at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico, D.F. on Saturday, May 31 (10:30 PM Buenos Aires time, GMT-3).
This game will be the fifth Superclásico to be played outside Argentina. Three of the other four were in Montevideo, in 1955 (Boca won 5-2), 1978 (River won 2-0) and 1984 (Boca won 2-0), while the last one was in Miami in March 2002, when River defeated Boca by 2-1.
River Plate arrives to the match in a better moment, since they won the Argentinian league tournament and qualified to the Sudamericana Cup 2014 and Libertadores Cup 2015. However, their manager, Ramón Díaz, surprinsingly resigned last Wednesday, and the players may be shocked by that decision.
The main candidate to be the new manager was Gerardo Tata Martino, as River president Rodolfo D’Onofrio admitted: “We tried to spoke with Martino. His answer was that he isn’t ready to manage a club again after his season in Barcelona, and we understand him.”
Today, Marcelo Gallardo was appointed manager, a former River player who won the Uruguayan tournament with Nacional as their coach. For the match against Boca, the provisional coach will be Gustavo Zapata, who is the coach of the reserve-team.
Zapata can’t rely on strikers Fernando Cavenaghi (foot injury) and Teófilo Gutiérrez (training with the Colombia national team), and defenders Éder Álvarez Balanta (Colombian team too) and Jonathan Maidana (muscle injury).
On the other hand, Boca Juniors finished in the second place in the Argentinian league. After a bad start, they won the last five matches in a row and finished the tournament five points behind River. The Xeneixes, like River, will play the Sudamericana Cup next season.
Boca star Juan Román Riquelme didn’t travel to Mexico, since he has a slight muscle injury. Other players that won’t be available for manager Carlos Bianchi due to injuries are midfielders Pablo Ledesma (back), Cristian Erbes (muscle sprain) and Nicolás Colazo (broken finger) and striker Juan Manuel Martínez (knee).
In addition, goalkeeper Agustín Orión and midfielder Fernando Gago are training with the Argentinian national squad in Ezeiza and they won’t play on Saturday.
Bianchi spoke in press conference about the match against River: “I have the usual expectations of facing River, even when it’s far from Argentina it’s always a motivating match. They’re a difficult opponent as always. I don’t think that they’ll go on holidays. We want to play a good match. What I expect is that after the 90 minutes I don’t have any injured player. It’s important to win, but if I win and any player got injured, I prefer to lose and have them fit.”
Boca Juniors vs River Plate Prediction
In my opinion, River Plate is the favorite team to win the match. Both teams have lots of injured players, but Riquelme is essential for Boca, and in my opinion his absence will have an important incidence in the result. Nevertheless, I think that this will be an entertaining match with many goals, since River defense without Maidana and Balanta isn’t very strong. My prediction is a 4-2 victory for River Plate.
Boca Juniors vs River Plate Television
The match will not be televised in the USA.