The wait is over. Finally, the Superliga returns today with the first matches being played tonight after 59 very long days.
This season will be with a change in the league’s format and fixture timings and (bummer!) will no longer be televised free of charge so get ready for significant differences when compared with previous years. This year’s Superliga (or “superleague”) will be contested between 28 teams in comparison to the 30 that played last year. The season starting in August 2018, will see the size of the Primera Division shrink even further down to 26 teams.
Another change to the format is that 4 teams will be relegated this year, with two being promoted from the second division. This follows on from last season, as the league attempts to downsize, with the eventual goal to have a league of 20 teams, akin to the European footballing model.
Previously, every team played each other once and clásicos (super derbies) were played twice. Teams that did not have a clásico “derby” rival (River Vs Boca for example), played another team, meaning that all teams played 30 games altogether.
This year, however, clásicos are not to be played. As a result, the format of league fixtures is that of a 27 game round robin style tournament.
Qualification for tournaments remains the same. The champion of the Supercopa Argentina will still be played between the winner of the league and the winner of the Copa Argentina. Qualification for the Libertadores is still reserved for the winner of the Copa Argentina, and any team finishing between first and fifth place. The Copa Sudamericana remains open to any team that finishes between 6th and 10th.
In addition to this, the dates for every single game this season have already been announced, giving more certainty to fans, a stark contrast to previous seasons. This has been partly driven by marketing and the decision to privatize coverage. As part of the drive to make Argentine football more competitive and modern financial distribution is also being reshaped.
The first big game of the season being the ‘Superclásico’ of River vs Boca on the 5th of November. There will also be morning kick-offs to facilitate such a change in the calendar, meaning that some games will be now played on Sundays at 11am.
The season starts tonight at 7:05pm as Tigre take on Velez at the Estadio Jose Dellagiovanna, here in Buenos Aires.
FIXTURE FOR THIS WEEKEND
7:05 PM Tigre – Vélez
9:05 PM Banfield – Belgrano
2:05 PM Defensa y Justicia – Gimnasia
4:15 PM Colón – Rosario Central
6:05 PM Talleres – Lanús
8:05 PM Independiente – Huracán
11:05 AM San Martín – Patronato
2:05 PM Atlético Tucumán – Godoy Cruz
4:05 PM San Lorenzo – Racing
6:05 PM Boca – Olimpo
8:05 PM Temperley – River
7:05 PM: Newell’s – Unión
9:05 PM: Estudiantes – Arsenal
Postponed: Argentinos – Chacarita