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Clasico Tapatio Starts To Heat Up: Atlas Director Suggests Guadalajara Has More Fans Of His Team Than Chivas

Club Atlas Sporting Director Rafael Lebrija gently stoked the fire in the build up to the Clasico Tapatio against Guadalajara Chivas by suggesting that Atlas and Pumas have the best youth systems in the land and that in Guadalajara there are more Atlas than Chivas fans.

"The two most important youth systems in Mexico have always been Pumas and Atlas," Lebrija told the local press.

The words cut deeper because Lebrija used to work in the same position for Chivas until May 2010 when, rumour has it, he fell out with Chivas owner Jorge Vergara.

Added Lebrija: "In the last game in the Omnilife, Atlas fans could be heard supporting their team more. Who knows what’s going on with Chivas’ fans, one of the most popular clubs in Mexican football. But here, in Guadalajara, we know what it means to be an Atlas fan."

Of Saturday’s big game in the Estadio Jalisco, Lebrija didn’t hold back in predicting that Atlas will be the team dictating play.

"Atlas will boss it," said Lebrija. "They are playing better, but it’s only one game and the best mentally prepared team will win; I think it’ll be Atlas."

On the other side of town, Chivas winger Alberto "Venado" Medina has been telling the press how important the game is to him.

"It gives me great satisfaction to score a goal against Atlas," said Medina.

With five goals in clasicos against Atlas, many believe the speedy Medina will be key to Chivas’ chances in the game.

Last year Chivas’ Marco Fabian missed a penalty in the clasico and was later attacked, along with his father, by Atlas fans outside the stadium.

Fabian clearly wants to make amends this time around.

"I’m incredibly keen to play, to win and to show myself," said Fabian. "I think it’s an important game in which one person can raise their hand and be an important piece of the clasico."