We are over a third of the season gone and with the top six only separated by a point this week shapes as another exciting week in the Chilean Primera Division.
Playing their second successive Friday night match, Ñublense will be hoping that the form they showed last week will continue this weekend when they take on Cobresal in the round’s opening match. In front of their own fans in the Estadio Nelson Oyarzún Ñublense will be full of confidence against a Cobresal side who has only picked up only one point so far this season but will be wary of a side that has just replaced manager Oscar del Solar with José Cantillana.
Also on Friday night is one of the matches of the round as Everton play host to Cobreloa in the battle of the teams that have yet to taste defeat this season. Both teams are on twelve points and are currently separated by goal difference only so it doesn’t get any closer than that. Everton come into the match off the back of two-all draw with San Marcos de Arica whilst Cobreloa will be still buzzing from their dramatic come from behind victory over Universidad Católica. This is also battle between the highest scoring team in the competition in Cobreloa and one of its most defensively frugal in Everton so it shapes as an intriguing battle.
One of the surprise packets of this season so far has been Unión La Calera. They currently sit in fourth position on the table with twelve points and will be confident of adding to that tally when they travel to the Estadio La Cisterna to take on Palestino in Saturday’s opening match. Palestino, who featured in the Clausura playoffs, have had a terrible start to this season having yet to pick up a win and sit second last on the table with only three points to their name.
For the second week in a row Iquique travel to take on a fellow Copa Libertadores participant as they visit the Estadio Santa Laura to take on Universidad de Chile. Iquique, whose Libertadores campaign is all but over after a midweek loss to Emelec, will have an uphill task against a La U side who finally look to be hitting their straps under Dario Franco. Los azules midweek win away to Newell’s Old Boys gave the appearance that Franco is finally getting his message across and will hoping to make it three wins in a row in all competitions. What may hinder them is an injury to Eugenio Mena, whose performances so far this season have been outstanding.
In Saturday’s penultimate match Huachipato will be looking to build on an encouraging week, a week that saw them pick up their first win of the season and also a hard fought draw away to Fluminense. Standing in their way are Audax Italiano who themselves have had a disappointing season so far and will see this as a perfect opportunity to pick up their second win of the season against a side distracted by continental competition.
In the last match of the day second placed Unión Española travel to the north of the country to take on San Marcos de Arica. Both team come into the encounter off the back of two-all draws although the results came in differing circumstances. San Marcos relied on an injury time goal to snatch a draw whilst their opponents came back from two goals down in the quintessential match of two halves. The home side have conceded the highest amount of goals this season along with Cobresal and will be need to be their guard against a la furia roja team that has one of the most potent attacking forces in the competition.
First cab off the rank on Sunday is a double header with Antofagasta hosting O’Higgins and Colo Colo travelling to Talca to take on Rangers. The clash between Antofagasta and O’Higgins is a classic tale of two teams at opposite ends of the table albeit two different tables. Los celeste have returned to the kind of form that saw them make the 2012 Apertura final and sit in third position on the table only behind Universidad Católica and Unión Española on goal difference and will be hoping to continue their run of good form when they travel to the Parque Juan López. Antofagasta are currently in second last position on the Coeficiente de Rendimiento table but they may find it difficult task to improve that position against their inform opponents.
Meanwhile in the south of the country, Colo Colo will be hoping to maintain contact with the logjam ahead of them when they take on Rangers de Talca. After an outstanding Clausura season, Rangers have been somewhat off the pace so far this season, having won only one match out of six. After a rather insipid performance against Unión La Calera last start they will need to be much improved against the somewhat inconsistent los albos outfit.
After suffering their first loss of the season last weekend in dramatic circumstances Universidad Católica will be looking to bounce back against Santiago Wanderers in the last match of the round at the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquimbo. Wanderers for their part are unbeaten in their last three matches having picked up two wins and a draw in those matches but will need to put in a much better performance that last week’s rather staid effort against Palestino if they want to continue that run.
Primera Division Torneo Transición 2013 , Round seven fixtures
Ñublense vs. Cobresal (Fri 19:30, Bicentenario Nelson Oyarzún)
Everton vs. Cobreloa (Sat 22:00, Bicentenario Lucio Fariña)
Palestino vs. U. La Calera (Sat 16:00, La Cisterna)
U. de Chile vs. Iquique (Sat 18:30, Santa Laura)
A. Italiano vs. Huachipato (Sat 21:00, Bicentenario La Florida)
SM Arica vs. U. Española (Sat 22:00, Bicentenario Carlos Dittborn)
Antofagasta vs. O’Higgins (Sun 16:00, Parque Juan López)
Rangers vs. Colo Colo (Sun 16:00, Fiscal de Talca)
U. Católica vs. S. Wanderers (Sun 18:30, San Carlos)