Nestor Gorosito's side visit their arch-rivals at La Bombonera aiming to reduce the four-point deficit to Velez Sarsfield, who lead the Clausura on 19 points.

However, Gallardo is also worried about his team's tendency to start games poorly. They have scored only two goals in the opening 45 minutes of all the games they have played so far.

River have also conceded the first goal in six of the nine matches they have contested in the Clausura.

"Even though we are not playing well, we are close to the leaders. Winning will convince us that we can fight for the title," the former Monaco, PSG and DC United midfielder said.

"Because of the quality of the Boca players, we should not make any mistakes nor lose focus against a team like them.

"Neither of the teams will give away anything but we should not keep wasting the opening 45 minutes. We are giving away a lot of advantage."

River have collected four points more than the reigning champions but statistics mean nothing ahead of Sunday's match, according to Gallardo.

He said: "I don't see any favourite team to win. In the Clausura, we are a little bit better than Boca but it means nothing at all."