Copa de la Liga: What’s at stake for Argentine football clubs?

After 12 games, even giants Boca and River are fighting for a spot in the playoffs with two games remaining

river boca 25-02 Argentina football Source: Télam 2

The 2024 Copa de la Liga group stage is reaching its boiling point as Argentine football clubs fight for a spot in the playoffs. With just two fixtures to go, even giants Boca Juniors and River Plate aren’t safe.

The first half of the Argentine football season sees the Copa de la Liga played, a two-stage competition where the 28 First Division sides split into two groups. Teams play 14 games facing each group rival and an additional fixture against a traditional derby rival from the other group. The top four teams from each group qualify for the playoff stage.

After 12 games played, however, spots for the deciding stages are far from decided. Matchday 13 kicks off on Friday 5 and runs through to Monday 8, while the final set of games will all be played on April 14.

In group A, River is fourth with 21 points and needs to take all three points when it hosts Rosario Central on Sunday night for a chance at the playoffs. The Millonario’s underwhelming performance has prompted fans to criticize coach Martín Demichelis. 

Its qualification bid may be further complicated if group leader Argentinos Juniors, currently on 24 points, loses against fifth-placed Vélez Sarsfield on Friday.

Talleres and Barracas Central are in second and third place respectively with 22 points, split only by goal difference, and a win could make them both favorites to qualify coming into the final matchday. Talleres hosts Independiente Rivadavia on Saturday, while Barracas receives Instituto on Sunday. 

Another giant faces a difficult final two games to make it into the playoffs in group B: Boca is in fifth place with 19 points and needs to beat third-placed Newell’s Old Boys away (21 points) to leapfrog it and keep its chances alive. 

Group leaders Lanús and Godoy Cruz are tied at the top 23 points, although the latter still has to face Platense away in their matchday 12 game, and could secure a spot with a win. The Granate visits Racing on Sunday while fourth-placed Defensa y Justicia, currently with 20 points, visits San Lorenzo to remain in the race.


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