Martin Palermo, Palermo Martin, but not Palermo Riquelme

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In a few years time, Buenos Aires will in fact be called Palermo.

It may take time getting used to, the way that colonial types find it hard to say Mumbai or Myanmar, but it seems the only possible conclusion to a growing trend.

On paper, Palermo is just one of the 48 barrios that make up the city. The reality, however, is that the Neighbourhood Formerly Known as Palermo is a monster spreading its reach across the capital.

The area is already subdivided into Old Palermo, New Palermo, Small Palermo, Palermo Soho, Palermo Hollywood and so on.

Essentially, the reason behind this is so that estate agents, restaurateurs, bar owners, delicatessen owners, yoga instructors and hippies can price their services and produce at vastly inflated prices because they are based in an ‘exclusive’ part of Palermo.

While some are piling up the pesos, others are resisting change. The residents of neighbouring Villa Crespo are fighting a battle to prevent the area becoming colonialised and called Palermo Queens. Chacarita, meanwhile, is being billed as Palermo Dead – in tribute to the enormous cemetery where you can pay your respects to tango legend Carlos Gardel and two members of River’s legendary 1950s team, The Machine, amongst others.

The expansionist ambitions of Palermo have been given a boost this week, by a group of Boca fans. Most clubs just bring out a statue to honour their legends. Not the xeneizes.

There is a movement to name a neighbourhood after their all time top scorer. Yes, Martin Palermo.

"Good thing I wasn't called Martin Milton Keynes..."

Strictly speaking, the area that would be Palermo Martin is inside the real Palermo, although it is suspiciously close to parts of Villa Crespo and Almagro.

While this motion to name an area of the city after a footballer gains more and more momentum, there is major problem here.

If they don’t find a Palermo Riquelme - or even a Palermo Román - soon, a civil war could kick off.

This weekend the legend of Martín Palermo could well be extended by another goal in the clásico with San Lorenzo, a game totally impossible to call.

Elsewhere, business could be cleared up at both ends of the two tables (the real one and the relegation one). Two title hopefuls are pitted against relegation-battling sides – Godoy Cruz welcome Chacarita to Mendoza while Argentinos entertain Gimnasia.

Independiente need a win at Huracán to keep up the pressure, while top of the table Estudiantes take on River.

The Pincha are in Libertadores action next week, but have already won the psychological war against the millionaires for this week. When asked what worried him about Estudiantes, River coach Ángel Cappa was succinct. ‘Everything.’

Banfield also limber up for their Libertadores clash with Internacional next week by taking on Racing, while Vélez prepare for their trip to Mexico against coach Ricardo ‘The Tiger’ Gareca’s namesake, Tigre.

Vélez v Tigre
Godoy Cruz v Chacarita/Palermo Dead
Lanús v Arsenal
Newell’s v Colón
Estudiantes v River
Huracán v Independiente
Argentinos v Gimnasia
Racing v Banfield
Atlético Tucumán v Central
Boca v San Lorenzo

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