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River Plate arrive in Madrid ahead of Superclasico final with Boca
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  • 06 Dec 18
  • Soccer
  • 4
Soccer Football - River Plate arrive in Madrid ahead of Copa Libertadores final - Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain - December 6, 2018  River Plate players after arriving in Madrid  REUTERS/Javier Barbancho 691px 444px Soccer Football - River Plate arrive in Madrid ahead of Copa Libertadores final - Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain - December 6, 2018 River Plate players after arriving in Madrid REUTERS/Javier Barbancho

MADRID (Reuters) - River Plate touched down in Madrid on Thursday morning for the eagerly anticipated Copa Libertadores final second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, a day after opponents and eternal Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors landed in the Spanish capital.

Spanish police are calling the security operation for Sunday's match, which has been switched from River's ground to Real Madrid's home 10,000 kilometres across the Atlantic Ocean, the biggest ever for a game in Madrid.

More than 2,500 officers are expected to be on duty for the match, known as the ‘Superclasico’ and regarded as one of the world's fiercest football rivalries.

The Paseo de la Castellana, which runs from the centre of Madrid to the stadium, will be closed off from 9am local time (0800 GMT) on Sunday as police divide the two groups of fans to prevent violence.

The game was originally scheduled to take place on Nov. 24 but was called off after several Boca players sustained injuries when rocks were thrown at their team bus as it arrived at the Monumental stadium.

South America's football confederation (CONMEBOL) initially postponed the game by a day before calling it off again and switching it from the Argentine capital to Madrid, a move that has been met with loud protests from both clubs.

River have complained of losing home advantage Boca enjoyed in the first leg, which finished 2-2 at the Bombonera stadium on Nov. 11.

Boca, meanwhile, say they should have been awarded the title — South America's equivalent of Europe's Champions League — as a result of the violent attack on their players.

The move to another continent has not lessened interest in the fixture, however, with practically all tickets for the final at the 85,000-seat Bernabeu already snapped up.

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)

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  • Group
  • e
Pts P W D L GF GA +/- Pts
1 Manchester City MAC 65 27 21 2 4 74 20 +54 65
2 Liverpool LIV 65 26 20 5 1 59 15 +44 65
3 Tottenham Hotspur TOT 60 26 20 0 6 54 25 +29 60
4 Manchester United MUN 51 26 15 6 5 52 35 +17 51
5 Arsenal ARS 50 26 15 5 6 53 37 +16 50
6 Chelsea CHE 50 26 15 5 6 45 29 +16 50
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers WOL 39 26 11 6 9 34 33 +1 39
8 Watford WAT 37 26 10 7 9 34 34 0 37
9 Everton EVE 33 27 9 6 12 36 39 -3 33
10 West Ham United WES 33 26 9 6 11 32 39 -7 33
11 AFC Bournemouth BOU 33 26 10 3 13 37 47 -10 33
12 Leicester City LEI 32 26 9 5 12 31 34 -3 32
13 Crystal Palace CRY 27 26 7 6 13 27 34 -7 27
14 Brighton & Hove Albion BRI 27 26 7 6 13 28 39 -11 27
15 Burnley BUR 27 26 7 6 13 29 47 -18 27
16 Newcastle United NEW 25 26 6 7 13 22 34 -12 25
17 Cardiff City CAR 25 26 7 4 15 24 47 -23 25
18 Southampton SOU 24 26 5 9 12 28 44 -16 24
19 Fulham FUL 17 26 4 5 17 25 58 -33 17
20 Huddersfield Town HUD 11 26 2 5 19 14 48 -34 11
*e1 & e2 advances to R16, e3 possible R16
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