Preparing for what could be a (ahem) Monumental weekend, River Plate fans are hoping to celebrate the end of their six-year title drought in the coming 48 hours.
The Millonario go into the weekend on 45 points, three clear at the top of the Superliga table, facing Defensa y Justicia in the league’s penultimate round of fixtures. Trailing behind behind on 42 points are Boca Juniors, who will be hoping their arch-rivals slip up at home.
River, who kick off tonight at 7.40pm, will know what’s required and if a Saturday evening celebration is possible – Boca have a Friday night kick-off (yesterday, by the time this is in print) against Santa Fe’s Colón.
For Millo coach Marcelo Gallardo, who has enjoyed a hugely successful spell in recent years, winning Copa Libertadores and national cup trophies, the league title has remained elusive: River have not finished first in the top flight since 2014, when Ramón Díaz was in charge.
The club has really pushed on in recent weeks, recording a string of victories to surge to the top of the table. Before the Summer break, River were fifth, three points behind league-leaders Argentinos Juniors. Back-to-back wins over Independiente (2-1), Godoy Cruz (1 -0), Atlético Central Córdoba (2-0), Atlético Unión (2-1), Banfield (1-0) and Estudiantes (2-0) have led the side to the verge of their 36th league title of the professional era.
River look set to field their strongest side, despite a Wednesday tie with Liga de Quito in Ecuador in the Copa Libertadores.
Defensa y Justicia could also make headlines in the same competition this week – on Tuesday they face Brazil's Santos. After a poor start to the season, the side has improved and the Halcón arrive at the Monumental on an eight-game unbeaten streak. Last time out, they defeated Rosario Central 3-0.