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Pumas Vs. Chivas Guadalajara, Clausura 2012: Preview, Chivas Hope to Get on Track

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Pumas host the new-look Chivas Sunday (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Pumas host the new-look Chivas Sunday (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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It will be the dawn of a new era for Chivas Sunday when they travel to Mexico City to take on Pumas (1:00 pm ET, Univision). Following the resignation of coach Fernando Quirarte after going winless in the first three matches of the Clausura - the worst start to a Chivas season in history, Ignacio Ambriz has been appointed as coach. Many wonder if the appointment is essentially a puppet appointment for club owner Jorge Vergara, who has been known to take an active and meddlesome role with the squad and coaching staff in the past. Ambriz has recent head coaching experience in the FMF, however, as he led San Luis from 2009-2011. His record was not terrific, as San Luis won 21, drew 23, and lost 26, according to SI.com. Still, following Chivas' qualification as superlider in the liguilla during the 2011 Apertura, the squad has talent that should be performing better, and it will be Ambriz's job to get more out of his players. He'll get the first chance to right the ship on Sunday, and he's starting with the club rooted to the very bottom of the league table, the only team to not have earned a point yet this season.

Meanwhile, Pumas are firmly in the middle of the table after three matches, with a win, draw and loss. They played to a 1-1 draw last weekend against Monterrey, which was a good result for a team going through a bit of a transition phase. UNAM have done a good job of modulating between winning titles (they last won the 2011 Clausura) and retooling. Right now, they are relying upon youngsters like recent Mexico call up Javier Cortes to develop a new core. Both Pumas and Chivas will have a lot of players from their respective academies on the field, reflecting both the strength as well as the reliance on their academies. Can Pumas continue to keep Chivas stuck in the basement of the league? Consistency will probably be an issue for both teams throughout this campaign. On Sunday, I expect the match will end in a 0-0 or 1-1 draw.

Pumas injuries/suspensions: None

Chivas injuries/suspensions: Omar Esparza (injured), Geovani Casillas (injured), Jorge Enriquez (suspended)