After a two week hiatus for international play, Liga MX is back, which means the return of Chivas. El Rebaño is set to host struggling Chiapas on Saturday night in Estadio Chivas, in a match that looks favorable for Almeyda’s herd. After soundly defeating arch rival Club America before the international break, El Rebaño made even more noise when they announced the signing of ex-Tigres striker Alan Pulido. Pulido’s arrival from Greece is being billed as the missing piece of the puzzle for the team to be considered title contenders. Chiapas on the other hand come into the match having won just once all season and were winless in the month of August.
While July was not the way Almeyda wanted to start the campaign, August proved to be much better and the team turned things around, closing the month of strong. The addition of Alan Pulido already has the month of September off to a strong start; his presence alone will create healthy competition at the striker position. A position Angel “Chelo” Zaldivar, momentarily has a clear hold of and is expected to start Saturday despite the addition of Pulido. If Zaldivar continues to play well, it would not be surprising to see Almeyda make a change in formation and start playing with both strikers.
One area where the team could be lacking is at the center-back position. With Carlos Salcedo recently leaving to Italy, Jair Pereira, who recently has been the pillar of that backline, is more than likely out with a hamstring injury. No injury is good but if you’re best center-back needs to miss a game, it is best that he do it against the second worst team in the league. Michael Perez and Orbelin Pineda will need to provide support to a depleted backline in an match where Jaguares will attempt to catch Chivas sleeping on a counter attack.
Saturday night’s match could be a bit of a trap game for Chivas. Chiapas hasn’t won a league match since July, but did defeat Chivas 4-1 in Estadio Chivas in a Copa MX match. While Jaguares currently sit in second to last in the table, their manager Jose Cardozo is a longtime foe of Chivas and is no stranger to playing spoiler in Guadalajara. Almeyda must replicate the intensity that his team showed in El Super Clasico and come out guns blazing once again from the opening whistle.
Chivas vs. Chiapas – July 26, 2016 – Copa Mx Apetura ‘16
Chiapas defeated Chivas 4-1, at Estadio omnilife in a match where Chivas played with very few starters.
Match date/time: Saturday 10pm EST, 9pm local
Venue: Estadio Chivas, Zapopan, Mexico
TV: Univision (US - Spanish), Univision Deportes Network (US- Spanish)