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Boca Juniors vs River Plate live on May 16, 2021: Can a COVID-19-ravaged Los Millonarios win Superclásico?

May 16, 2021 By Ali M.
The latest edition of Superclásico will see Argentina's two powerhouses battle it out in the quarter-finals of the Copa de la Liga.

Preview

The Argentine Copa de la Liga has reached the quarter-final stage, with two of the country's biggest teams set to lock horns in the last eight. They are River Plate and Boca Juniors, with the two South American powerhouses preparing to do battle at the Estadio Alberto José Armando (La Bombonera) at 3:30 p.m. ET for a spot in the semi-finals.

This fixture will see a team struggling to score take on a side ravaged by a COVID-19 outbreak. No one would want the latter but that is, unfortunately, the fate of River Plate as 10 players have tested positive for the coronavirus. This was confirmed on Sunday as Marcelo Gallardo could be forced to name a starting XI featuring several young and inexperienced players. 

The likes of Rafael Santos Borre and Nicolas de la Cruz were on the list of those that tested positive. This is a huge blow for Los Millonarios as the pair have been influential for the visitors, especially given Santos Borre's form in front of goal this term. The Colombian forward is the competition's top scorer, having netted an impressive eight times so far this campaign, with the Colombian scoring most recently in the 4-1 triumph over Aldosivi.

In fact, thanks to the 25-year-old's inspirational form in front of goal, River Plate found the back of the net 25 times in Zone A. While they finished in third, the 2018 Copa Libertadores winners completed the first round with the best attack as none of their 12 rivals could match their tally of 25 goals in 13 outings.

As for Boca Juniors, they have seen their goals dry up in the aftermath of their decision to loan Ramon Abila to Minnesota United. The Xeneizes have failed to score in their last three outings, losing each and one of those fixtures 1-0. Squad rotation could be blamed but that excuse will not protect them come this weekend's Superclásico.

It should be noted than in Zone B, Miguel Ángel Russo's side earned the second-best defensive record and the joint-best goal differential. This will not necessarily translate into a win on Sunday but all of this should make for an interesting Copa de la Liga quarter-final battle at La Bombonera.

Who are the 10 River Plate players that tested positive for COVID-19?

They are Nicolas De La Cruz, Bruno Zuculini, Enrique Bologna, Rafael Santos Borre, Federico Girotti, Paulo Diaz, Robert Rojas, Gonzalo Montiel, Santiago Simon and Franco Petroli.

Furthermore, goalkeepers' coach Alberto Montes also tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Key stats

  • Boca Juniors have won only once in their last six Superclásico and that was the meaningless second leg win in the Copa Libertadores semi-final tie back in 2019.

  • However, River Plate have triumphed only twice, with three of their last six battles ending in draws.

  • There have been six red cards issued in the last six editions of Superclásico, four going to Boca Juniors while the other two went to Los Millonarios.

Broadcast listings

 

Match details, result and original broadcast info

Boca Juniors P1 - 1 River Plate

May 16, 2021 4:30pmEstadio Alberto José Armando (Ciudad de Buenos Aires)

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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