THE Montevideo superclásico between Nacional and Peñarol is the world’s oldest derby outside of the UK – in the 506th edition of the derby, both teams require maximum points on Sunday to keep alive their title hopes in Uruguay’s Apertura championship, with three games remaining.
The two rivals occupy second and third place in the current standings but it is Peñarol who are considerable pressure to produce a result at Montevideo’s famous Estádio Centenario. Undefeated in the opening ten rounds, the Aurinegros’ good form has wobbled with two successive defeats against mid-table sides Liverpool and Montevideo Wanderers.
Peñarol are expected to rely on pace going foward, with a front three of João Pedro, Maximiliano Pérez and Santiago Silva as coach, Gregorio Pérez looks to make amends in the absence of former Juventus striker Marcelo Zalayeta.
Nacional are near to full-strength with Argentine full-back Diego Placente the only absentee. Marcelo Gallardo will be able to count upon Alvaro Recoba’s experience from the bench, with the thirty-five year old these days enjoying a cameo role as a substitute.
Danubio currently have a four point lead at the top of Apertura championship after Washington Tais’ scored in Saturday’s 1-0 win against ten men Cerro.