Week 9 of the Liga Postobon is a maze of derbies as 12 of the league’s 18 teams come up against their closest rivals.
Among the head-to-heads is the Bogota clasico between Millionarios and Santa Fe, the Medellin clasico between Independiente Medellin and Atletico Nacional and the top-of-the-table clash between Deportes Tolima and Atletico Huila.
Kicking off the weekend’s action Friday, Caldas make the short 70km journey to face Deportes Quindio, as the league’s two bottom teams desperately seek a victory. Quindio will be buoyed by last weekend’s draw against Atletico Nacional, although Caldas can boast to have at least won a game this season.
Saturday sees the “other” Medellin derby, as Itagui Ditaires entertain Envigado. The two teams from the second city’s southern suburbs have fared well so far, although fifth-placed Itagui will hope home advantage can bring a victory to leapfrog them above their third-placed rivals.
Meanwhile, the Tunja clasico sees Boyaca Chico call Estadio La Independiencia home for the day, as they “host” Patriotas in the stadium which houses both teams. In a tight league table, Chico will seek a win to close the three-point difference between the teams, which puts sixth-positioned Patriotas eight places ahead of their opponents.
Saturday evening brings the two Bogota giants together, as Millionarios seek to build on last week’s victory against Itagui and find consistency in a stuttering league campaign. Santa Fe have become the league’s draw specialists, with their last five games ending in stalemate.
Sunday’s action takes first-placed Huila across the departmental border to face second-placed Tolima. With only goal difference between them and four-points separating them from third, a victory will guarantee either team a three-point lead at the top.
On the Caribbean coast Junior de Barranquilla must attempt to forget the disappointing midweek 2-1 Copa Libertadores loss to Bolivian champions Bolivar, as they host Real Cartagena. Junior’s recent form book is a patchwork of wins and losses, but revenge for last month’s 1-0 cup loss against their smaller rivals should provide ample motivation for a good performance.
The weekend is wrapped up by the fiery face-off between Independiente Medellin and Atletico Nacional in Estadio Atanasio Giradot stadium, just two weeks after their last match-up resulted in the death of one fan, multiple injuries and hundreds of arrests in post-match fighting between fans. Medellin have hit a rich vein of form, winning the two games since their 2-1 clasico victory. Nacional have fallen away in recent weeks, after beginning the league campaign brightly, although when these teams meet the form book is rarely a useful guide.
Game week 9 matches
Deportes Quindio – Once Caldas
Itagui Ditaires – Envigado
Boyaca Chico – Patriotas
Millonarios – Santa Fe
Deportivo Cali – Deportivo Pasto
Deportes Tolima – Atletico Huila
Cucuta Deportivo – La Equidad
Junior – Real Cartagena
Medellin – Atletico Nacional