Boca Juniors v River Plate: The Superclasico Copa Libertadores final in Opta Facts

Ahead of the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate, we bring you the best Opta Facts.

One of the greatest rivalries in football will reach new heights when Boca Juniors and River Plate meet in a Superclasico Copa Libertadores final for the first time.

Boca will begin their bid to win South America's premier club competition for a record-equalling seventh time against their most fierce rivals at La Bombonera on Saturday.

However, River have won each of their last three appearances in the Libertadores final – most recently in 2015, which was also masterminded by head coach Marcelo Gallardo.

Ahead of the first leg, we bring you the best Opta Facts on one of the biggest games South America has ever seen.

THE TEAMS

- Boca and River have met 24 times in the Libertadores; the Xeneizes have won 10 and the Millonarios have triumphed in seven.
- It will be the 11th Libertadores final Boca have featured in – more than any other side, moving them clear of Penarol's 10 appearances.
- Boca have never lost the first leg of a Libertadores final played at La Bombonera, winning three (against Cruzeiro, Santos and Gremio) and drawing three (against Palmeiras, Once Caldas and Corinthians).
- Both teams have won six, drawn five and lost one of their 12 games in this year's competition.

THE STATS

- In the past five Superclasicos in all competitions, the team with the greater share of possession lost the match (three wins for River, two for Boca).
- Boca have attempted seven shots more than River in this year's Libertadores (155 to 148), but River have had one more on target (52 to 51).
- Guillermo Barros Schelotto's side have a higher passing accuracy (79.9 per cent) and average possession (53.4 per cent) than River (74.6 per cent and 52 per cent) in this year's Libertadores.
- Boca have outscored River by seven in the first half of matches in the 2018 edition, but both have 10 in second periods.

THE PLAYERS

- Cristian Pavon has been involved in more goals (eight – three goals, five assists) and more shots (50 – 32 attempted, 18 chances created) than any player on either team in this year's Libertadores.
- Boca captain Pablo Perez has made more recoveries (99) than any other player in the competition.
- River striker Lucas Pratto has been involved in (125) and won (65) the most aerial duels in this year's Libertadores.
- Gonzalo Martinez has been involved in three of the last four goals scored by Gallardo's men against Boca in all competitions, scoring two and assisting one.