Argentine Primera 2012, Week 11 Preview And Fixtures: Potential Paper Tigers Do Battle

MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: Boca Juniors fans celebrate during the pre-season International Friendly between Melbourne Victory and Argentina's Boca Juniors at Etihad Stadium on July 16 2010 in Melbourne Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

Third-placed Arsenal and second-placed Newell's play each other Monday. Is either a legitimate challenger for Boca Juniors' crown?

Thanks to Tigre and their ridiculous fans, the title race in Argentina is wide open. The relegation-threatened side defeated Boca Juniors 2-1 at home last weekend, and their fans started a little incident outside of the Boca team bus after the game. They abused the players to the point that Boca's players got out of the bus and started a fight. Star striker Santiago Silva broke his hand.

Boca are now tied on points with Newell's Old Boys on top of the table and the entire top half of the table is within six points of the defending champions. This week, Boca faces a similar test to last week -- an average team that is very good at home -- in Belgrano de Cordoba. Perhaps they'll lose out of gratitude for Belgrano's relegating of River Plate. The two teams drew at La Bombonera last season.

Tigre host Olimpo on Friday and, if they win while San Martin fail to win away to Racing, they will climb out of the league's second automatic relegation place. Olimpo is bottom of the relegation table, and they're getting very close to being mathematically relegated. Their dream of staying up might be over if they fail to beat Tigre. Predicting what San Martin are going to do is nearly impossible simply because Racing are such a mess at the moment. They just exiled star striker Teo Gutierrez after he threatened his teammates with an air rifle.

Monday's big clash between Newell's and Arsenal de Sarandi could decide whether Boca will have a legitimate title contender outside of Velez Sarsfield. If either team can win outright, they'll be able to stake a claim as legitimate challengers. Arsenal are unbeaten at home tihs season, but Newell's have only lost once away. They've been a complete revelation under Gerardo Martino and have put in just one truly poor performance all year, in Round 4 against Belgrano.

Other title contenders Velez and Estudiantes de La Plata are favorites in their games. Velez hosts Lanus -- who took Teo on loan but can only play him in Copa Libertadores -- while Estudiantes go away to Atletico Rafaela.

Schedule (all times ET)

Tigre vs. Olimpo - Friday, 8:15 p.m.
Colon vs. Argentinos Juniors - Saturday, 1 p.m.
Atletico Rafaela vs. Estudiantes - Saturday, 3:10 p.m.
Velez Sarsfield vs. Lanus - Saturday, 3:10 p.m.
Racing Club vs. San Martin - Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
All Boys vs. Union - Sunday, 2 p.m.
Banfield vs. San Lorenzo - Sunday, 2 p.m.
Godoy Cruz vs. Independiente - Sunday, 4:10 p.m.
Belgrano vs. Boca Juniors - Sunday, 6:10 p.m.
Arsenal vs. Newell's Old Boys - Monday, 6:10 p.m.

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