Independiente - Rosario Central

Independiente and Rosario Central kick off the second part of the league season in what looks like being a tight game. Both teams ended 2017 in great form. Independiente finished the year by winning the Copa Sudamericana, as well as winning their last three matches in the league. They currently lie in 6th place with this game in hand to play which could see them rise to third if they win. They have just one defeat in five home matches, along with three wins and a draw.

The two concerns are that they have lost their captain and left back, Tagliafico, to Ajax and they've lost one of their influential play makers, Barco, to Atlanta. Barco only played 25 minutes of their last three league games of 2017 which they all won but that doesn't tell the whole story. They beat a River Plate side down to 10 men and struggled to do so. After going into the lead against Racing Independiente were almost immediately reduced to 10 men which meant that they could sit back and defend the lead they had and it took a 90th minute winner to beat a a terrible Arsenal side.

Rosario Central struggled during October but they finished the year with three straight wins including one against Boca. All three of the wins were by a score of 1-0 and in two of them, including the Boca game they took very early leads which gave them something to defend. Nevertheless, it has been their defence that has been their best feature in recent games. They were conceding far too many goal earlier in the season but a managerial change put Leanardo Fernandez in charge and the defence improved a lot, earning them three clean sheets to end the year. The good job done by Fernandez earned him the job on a permanent basis, so he remains in charge as we go into 2018.

I think this will be a tight game with very few, if any, goals to speak of. Rosario's defence has been playing really well in recent matches and they have a very capable forward in Zampedri. Independiente have lost a couple of key players which could have an impact on the way the perform. With that in mind I'm backing Rosario to get at least a draw and while a draw isn't ideal for Independiente it wouldn't be a bad way to start the year given that this is a game in hand.

1xbet odds 2

Pick: Rosario Central +0.5 AH
Odds: 1.88
Stake: 8 units
Tipster: O_Fortuna

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