Supporters of Independiente. Lanus travel away to Independiente in Week 2 of the Argentine Primera, 2012 Clausura on February 18, 2012.
Velez, Lanus, Estudiantes, Racing and Boca all have to travel away in the second week of the Argentine Clausura.
The first week of the Argentine Primera was mostly exciting, and the matches were very interesting. This week? Not so much, at least on paper. Nothing pops much at all. The biggest match will be contested between Godoy Cruz and Racing, two borderline title contenders.
Vélez Sársfield plays on Friday night against Banfield, who appear to be continuing their rebuilding process into the Clausura. They finished bottom of the table in the Apertura and were poor against Atlético Rafaela last week. Vélez don't have a history of performing much worse on the road than they do at home, and anything less than three points will be very disappointing.
Saturday's matches are an appetizer for Sunday's, as they provide little substance on their own. It's like getting spinach and artichoke dip with bread at Applebee's. The most intriguing match is probably All Boys vs. Colón de Santa Fe. All Boys are in the last relegation playoff space and need some home wins to climb out of the bottom four.
Title dark horses Lanús and Estudiantes La Plata both play away on Sunday, but they're playing two of Argentina's weakest sides, even if they're historically big. Independiente will do well to finish mid-table, while San Lorenzo look like they're headed for the drop. They were slaughtered by Lanús, while both Nicolás Bianchi and Fernando Meza picked up suspensions.
The late games on Sunday should provide a bit more intrigue. After a bad performance in Copa Libertadores mid-week, Boca Juniors manager Julio Falcioni and captain Juan Román Riquelme reportedly had a heated dispute. Rumors swirled that Falcioni would resign, but he's still the Boca manager. Unión de Santa Fe have a respectable defense and Boca have struggled to score when Román is not at his best, so a 0-0 draw would not be stunning.
That match takes place at the same time as the one between Godoy Cruz and Racing. Godoy Cruz did well to draw Vélez away on Matchday 1 and defeat Peñarol in Copa Libertadores, while Racing were disappointing in a 0-0 draw at home against Tigre last week.
Olimpo vs. Belgrano -- Friday, 5 p.m. ET
Banfield vs. Vélez Sársfield -- Friday, 7:15 p.m. ET
Newell's Old Boys vs. Argentinos Juniors -- Saturday, 3 p.m. ET
Arsenal di Sarandi vs. Atlético Rafaela -- Saturday, 5:10 p.m. ET
All Boys vs. Colón -- Saturday, 7:10 p.m. ET
Independiente vs. Lanús -- Sunday, 3 p.m. ET
San Lorenzo vs. Estudiantes -- Sunday, 3 p.m. ET
Godoy Cruz vs. Racing -- Sunday, 5:10 p.m. ET
Unión vs. Boca Juniors -- Sunday, 5:10 p.m. ET
Tigre vs. San Martín -- Monday, 7:15 p.m. ET