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Chivas Guadalajara vs. Atlas: 2016 Liga MX Apertura Preview

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It has certainly not been the start to the season Guadalajara had hoped for. El Rebaño has managed to make more news off the field than they have on. Through five games, they have only been able to amass seven points of a possible 15 all while only scoring two goals. Sitting on 10th place of the table this early in the season is certainly no reason to panic, but considering the team’s dismal performances over the past few weeks, there is cause for concern. El Rebaño now play host to their cross-town rival Atlas on Saturday night for the Apertura ’16 edition of El Clasico Tapatio. Atlas, who are celebrating their centennial anniversary, come into the match in a bit better shape with having only lost once this season and sitting in 8th place.

Matias Almeyda has various decisions to make ahead of El Clasico. The Argentine has actually not used the same starting line up all season due to either injury or the Olympic team call-ups. This week is no different. With Carlos Salcido out for a few weeks, Almeyda must choose between Michael Perez and Jose Juan “Gallito” Vazquez to fill the void. Although Gallito is the experienced off season signing who should be commanding the starting spot, Perez is in great form, and Almeyda would be hard-pressed to not choose Perez to start the game. Marco Bueno has also returned, and even though he had a decent showing at the Olympics, currently, it would be more beneficial for the team to leave Angel Zaldivar in the starting role.

As such, Almeyda must use the victory over Santos to instill some confidence and limit the tinkering of the roster in order to provide the attack and consistency the team needs to really become efficient. Chivas must go out on Saturday with the line up from last week with the inclusion of Michael Perez.

On the other hand, Atlas will look to finally get some success against Chivas, who they have struggled to defeat in their last few meetings. Los Zorros will be even more incentivized by their centennial anniversary. While this match isn’t for a league championship, a victory over their arch-rival would be a significant achievement in a special year.

Mexico’s oldest Clasico is not just an important game, for bragging rights in the city, but this edition will have many implications in the league standings depending on the result. A victory for either squad would put them in the top half of the table and in good shape heading into and second third of the season. For Chivas, a victory Saturday night would give the team its second victory in two weeks and would put them back in cruise control heading into next week’s Super Clasico versus Club America.

LAST MEETING

Atlas 0-1 Chivas – March 20, 2016 – Liga MX Clausura ‘16

Chivas defeated Atlas 1-0, with a stoppage time goal from Jair Pereira.