Preview: Argentinos Juniors vs. Instituto – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Argentine Primera Division clash between Argentinos Juniors and Instituto, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides separated by seven points and nine places in the Argentine Primera Division will do battle on Thursday, as Argentinos play host to Instituto.

The hosts currently occupy 10th spot following a defeat last time out, after stringing three straight wins together, while their visitors climbed to 20th place with an important victory on Sunday.

Match preview

Argentinos Juniors coach Gabriel Milito during the match on May 24, 2023© Reuters

After finishing fourth and eighth in the first and second phases of last season’s Argentine Primera Division respectively, Argentinos Juniors experienced a relatively disappointing start to the new term.

Following a span of seven games between late April and late May which produced just one victory alongside three defeats and three draws, they were left in 13th in the first phase with just 23 points on the board from 18 outings.

They would then enjoy an upturn in form after the turn of the month, though, initially following up back-to-back defeats with a 1-0 victory at home to Platense, as Leonardo Heredia hit the only goal of the game deep into injury time, before they triumphed by the same scoreline away at Velez Sarsfield thanks to another Heredia goal.

On the back of those two wins, Gabriel Milito‘s side then hosted Defensa y Justicia with the aim of making it three on the bounce in the league, and they did so in style with a 3-1 win, as Francisco Gonzalez Metilli opened the scoring before Gabriel Avalos netted a second-half brace.

They do now head into the weekend on the back of consecutive defeats since that upturn, though, firstly suffering a narrow 3-2 defeat away at Independiente del Valle in their final Copa Libertadores group game to drop to second spot, before most recently falling short against Banfield on Sunday as Milton Gimenez hit the only goal, and El Bicho will now be keen to return to winning ways once again with five first-phase games left to play and the chance to climb to seventh place in the division if they come out on top and other results go their way.

Argentinos Juniors' Marcelo Cabrera celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 19, 2023© Reuters

Milito’s men meet an Instituto side who are fighting to build on an important victory last time out, having suffered a tough run of form previously.

Following their promotion back to Argentina’s top flight for the first time since 2006, Thursday’s hosts enjoyed a positive start to the season as they picked up 13 points from their opening eight games while only suffering a single defeat, but they were unable to sustain that form in the following months.

In 13 league games between early April and the end of June, La Gloria managed to add just two further notches to their wins column and just nine more points to their tally, a run which cost former manager Daniel Jimenez his job after a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Rosario Central at the beginning of June.

New boss Diego Dabove was not able to inspire an instant turnaround either, as they drew 1-1 at home to Racing Club in his first game at the helm before suffering a 3-1 loss away at River Plate, but they do now head into Thursday on the back of an important return to winning ways, having beaten Belgrano 1-0 on home turf on Sunday thanks to Adrian Martinez‘s goal late in the first half.

Such a result saw Instituto climb to 20th place in the Primera Division, and with just a two-point gap all the way up to 16th-placed Barracas Central, they will be keen to strengthen their position in the final games of the first phase, beginning with what would be a second straight victory on Thursday.

Argentinos Juniors Argentine Primera Division form:

Argentinos Juniors form (all competitions):

Instituto Argentine Primera Division form:

Team News

Argentinos Juniors coach Gabriel Milito reacts on April 19, 2023© Reuters

Argentinos Juniors should again line up in a 3-4-3 shape with the line led by Gabriel Avalos, whose tally of 11 goals in 20 Argentine Primera Division appearances this term is only topped by two players.

He could be flanked by Gaston Veron and Leonardo Heredia, who has contributed four goals in their last 10 Primera Division games, although the likes of Rodrigo Cabral and Thiago Nuss are also fighting for attacking spots.

At the other end of the pitch, Marco Di Cesare should continue to join mainstays Lucas Villalba and Kevin Mac Allister in a back three, while Alan Rodriguez will keep his place in the engine room.

After their return to winning ways last time out, Instituto could come into Thursday’s game with an unchanged starting XI, although Leonel Mosevich is vying to return from the outset in defence, having served a suspension in the victory over Belgrano after being shown a red card in their defeat to River Plate.

However, after they saw out a clean sheet on Sunday, Diego Dabove will likely stick with the centre-back pairing of Fernando Alarcon and Ezequiel Parnisari, while Gabriel Graciani, Roberto Bochi and Gaston Lodico should all keep their places in midfield.

The attack will again be spearheaded by Adrian Martinez, who sealed that victory with his seventh league goal of the season, while Santiago Rodriguez should join him up front with additional support from Franco Watson.

Argentinos Juniors possible starting lineup:
Arias; Mac Allister, Villalba, Di Cesare; Cabrera, Rodriguez, Vera, Montiel; Veron, Avalos, Heredia

Instituto possible starting lineup:
Roffo; Franco, Parnisari, Alarcon, Corda; Graciani, Bochi, Lodico; Watson; Rodriguez, Martinez

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We say: Argentinos Juniors 2-1 Instituto

While the visitors prevailed last time out and their hosts suffered a setback in their improvement, Argentinos Juniors have enjoyed the far stronger season for a reason and should have enough quality to see off Instituto with home advantage.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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