Cruz Azul Vs. Chivas Guadalajara: Play-offs Ticket Up For Grabs

Head coach Jose Luis Real of Chivas de Guadalajara will be hoping to book a play-off place on Saturday after a lot of criticism in the last year.

The Estadio Azul will be packed to the rafters for the Cruz Azul vs. Chivas Guadalajara duel on Saturday evening that not only sees two of Mexico's four "grandes" go head-to-head but also scrapping for their places in the play-offs.

Both teams need three points to guarantee their ticket into what the Mexican press label the "big party." Cruz Azul sit in third place in Group 3 with 24 points. Chivas are second in Group 2, also on 24 points. The winner of the game can relax for the final round of fixtures next weekend. For the losers, fans' long fingernails are in danger of being scythed down as a final day nervefest ensues to book their play-off place.

Indeed, this contest already smells of a play-off and is being built up as the game of the weekend.

Chivas Guadalajara haven't won against Cruz Azul in six games and the "Celestes" (Cruz Azul) home form has been the main why they are still in play-off contention. The Mexico City team go into the game as slight favorites.

As a caveat though, Cruz Azul have been inconsistent all season. Their last two results tell the wider story of their season. On April 13, Cruz Azul thrashed champions Monterrey 3-0 at home but three days later lost on the road 2-0 to lowly Puebla. Whether Gerardo Torrado and Hugo Droguett are fit to play could be an important factor.

For Chivas, a run of four consecutive victories was cut short last weekend by a missed penalty and a stunning last minute winner by Santos.

A victory for Chivas would show that the team means business and should be considered contenders for the title.

Center-back Jonny Magallon is likely to miss the game for Chivas.

In case of defeat next week's games could be vital for these two teams and they don`t look easy:

San Luis vs. Cruz Azul

Chivas vs. Monterrey

Players to watch: Chaco Gimenez (Cruz Azul) - destroyed Monterrey and is capable of doing the same at any moment.

Erick "Cubo" Torres (Chivas) - vital in Chivas' four wins on the trot and the rojiblancos will be looking to him for goals on Saturday.

Cruz Azul vs. Guadalajara Chivas kicks off Saturday at 5 pm in Mexico (6 pm U.S. eastern time).

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