With the start of Liga MX right around the corner, Chivas has a pending fixture before the beginning of the tournament. El Rebaño will be taking on Tiburones de Veracruz in the SuperCopa MX Final on Sunday evening in Los Angeles. The SuperCopa is in its third edition and will determine which of the previous two Copa MX champions will earn a berth to the Copa Libertadores.
Chivas has spent the majority of the offseason making noise: new signings, their separation from Televisa, the introduction of Chivas TV, new uniforms with a new company, and even text messaging scandal. Yet, Chivas has essentially assembled a stronger club than the one that they fielded last season. The additions of Jose Juan"Gallito" Vasquez, Marco Bueno, Nestor Calderon, and Alex Zendejas, coupled with the return of Osvaldo Alanis, make for a squad that will surely be more competitive from the start of the season.
Although they have made numerous additions, due to the Olympics, they will be without four players for the first half of the season, which include center back Carlos Salcedo and forward Marco Bueno. That said, Almeyda will likely try to have the core of last season's team on the field Sunday—plugging in the new additions where needed. A factor that will help to not disrupt the team's fluidity and attractive style of play.
Veracruz also had an active offseason taking advantage of Liga MX's new 10/8 rule. Of the 16 new signings the reigning Copa MX champions made, eight were foreigners. However, for Sundays match against Chivas, the team will be without their biggest offseason signing, Argentinian Cristian Ebers, who came over from Boca Juniors. Along with Ebers, the club will also be without midfielder Juan Albin, who is likely to miss the beginning of the Apertura season too. With all of the recent additions, it will be interesting to see if the club has had enough time to adapt to head coach Pablo Marini's tactics.
With both teams looking to obtain a berth to the Copa Libertadores, the match Sunday night will make for an appealing affair. For Almeyda's herd, the SuperCopa MX final will be the first real test this season. A victory would not only add some more silverware to Chivas' trophy case and earn them a trip to the Libertadores, but it would also make a statement to a fan base that is hungry to see their team win.
Chivas vs. Veracruz - Janaury 10, 2016 - Liga MX
Chivas and Veracruz drew 2-2 at Estadio Chivas in the first week of the Clausura 2016.