Friday, January 22, 2016

Argentina's Primera División - 2016 season

New year, new luck for Argentina's football elite: On the first February weekend, the Primera División will be back with 16 exciting matchweeks. Wait, 16? That's right, the format of the league was changed again as it is so often the case in South America. 
So let us take a look at what is new this time around. Firstly, 30 teams remain. After the relegation of Nueva Chicago and Crucero del Norte, the league is completed by Atlético Tucumán and Patronato. 
The Primera División itself is devided into two sub-divisions. This means 15 teams and everyone will play everyone else once. The other two games of the year are each team's respective Clásicos. Typically River and Boca receive the most attention, but you get the idea. 
There is one whole Clásico week (April 24), in which there will be 15 of them in one single weekend. All the others are distributed across the season, one per matchweek. 
I made an infographic to highlight what I just described.

The winner of each zone wins the right to compete for the Argentinian title, as well as in the 2017 Copa Libertadores. Each second place team will qualify for the intercontinental competition too. 
One team will be relegated from the Primera División at the end of May. This team will be determined by a 4-year point average table. The worst team of these last four seasons has to go. 

Last but not least, let's have a look at the two zones.
Zone 1: Arsenal, Banfield, Belgrano, Colón, Gimnasia y Esgrima, Godoy Cruz, Independiente, Olimpo, Patronato, Quilmes, River Plate, Rosario Central, San Lorenzo, Sarmiento, Vélez Sarsfield.
Zone 2: Aldosivi, Argentinos Juniors, Atlético de Rafaela, Atlético Tucumán, Boca Juniors, Defensa y Justicia, Estudiantes, Huracán, Lanús, Newell's Old Boys, Racing Club, San Martín, Temperley, Tigre, Unión.

Maybe it's just me, but Zone 1 does seem a little stronger than 2. What do you think?


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