Peñarol on verge of Uruguayan league title

Montevideo, Oct 20: Peñarol will look to clinch the Uruguayan football league's Clausura title and a spot in the 2018 season's championship play-off when it takes on arch-rival Nacional.

Uruguay's two most popular teams will face off at the emblematic Centenario Stadium here in a match that is nearly a sell-out, reports EFE news agency.

Nacional (25 points) will be looking to bounce back after a surprising loss last weekend to Boston River, a match which it dominated from start to finish but gave up a goal with time winding down in the second half.

Nacional head coach Alexander Medina will have nearly all of his players available for the key rivalry game.

One exception is defender Alexis Rolin, who was injured in the Boston River match and is expected to be replaced by either Rodrigo Erramuspe or Marcos Angeleri.

Nacional has already booked a spot in the Championship Playoff by virtue of winning the Apertura; it also won the Intermedio tournament and has a slim lead over Peñarol in the aggregate standings.

Those teams will face off in the 2018 season's finale if Peñarol (29 points) can wrap up the Clausura title. But should Nacional stage a late-season comeback and win the Clausura, it would be crowned champion without a playoff.

Peñarol won its last league match against Fenix 2-0 to grab a four-point advantage over Nacional in the standings.

Two Peñarol players are under observation - defender Fabricio Formiliano, who suffered a right-hand fracture; and Argentine forward Lucas Viatri, who sustained a quadriceps injury - but both trained normally this week and are expected to play in the Uruguayan Clasico.

In other action in the Clausura's third-to-last matchday, Fenix will host Atenas on Sunday in a contest in which the loser is all but assured of being relegated to the second division.

Five other matches are on tap for Sunday: Torque-Cerro, Racing CM-Liverpool, Progreso-Boston River, Rampla Juniors-Danubio and River Plate-Wanderers.

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