For the first time in 5 years, Chivas began the season with a victory. Goals from Pulido and “La Chofis” Lopez gave Chivas the lead in the first half and thanks to the woodwork in Estadio Chivas, El Rebaño was able to hold on. Things weren’t very peachy for Matias Almeyda’s team and they won’t get any easier as they get set to visit Monterrey Saturday night. Los Rayados visited Puebla and overcame a 2-1 deficit at halftime, needing a late goal from Colombian Edwin Cardona to earn a 3-2 victory and got their campaign off on the right foot.
Ahead of Chivas’ Week 2 match up, Almeyda has many questions to answer if the team is to continue rolling. Defensively, the team looked outmatched in week 1. Had it not been for a couple of lucky interventions from the goal post, they might have walked away with only one point instead of three. Both the right and left backs were getting worked up the wings by Pumas’ speed. Tracking back is fundamental for the success of Almeyda’s style of play. If both players push up and don’t track back consistently or fast enough, it could be a long night against Monterrey.
Another area where the team seemed to lack discipline was the midfield; this could be due to a variety of things including the inclusion of Pizarro. Pizarro tended to drift to the right and would sometimes move into Orbelin’s space, bunching both of them with Chofis. This is obviously something that will work out with time, but both Orbelin and Pizarro will also need solid play behind them from Gallito Vazquez. Gallito had an off night against Pumas and my personal opinion was that he should have been subbed out for Michael Perez. There was a lack of recovery and stability in the midfield that can’t lack against a team like Monterrey.
It wasn’t all negative, however, the team was able to net some goals, something that has plagued Chivas in the Almeyda Era. Pulido and Chofis both had an ideal start to the season, and scoring this early on will relieve a bit of the pressure on both players. While all areas are fundamental to a team’s success, having your striker and most creative player consistently play well and find the net will be key to this Chivas squad.
Monterrey comes into the match having been able to come from behind twice against Puebla to get the victory. Against Chivas, though, they have not been able to find success since 2014. In fact, since Antonio Mohamed was named Chivas manager, the side has faced Chivas four times and has lost in all of them. The Argentine who earlier this week declared that his objective this season was to win the league will surely like to get the monkey off his back . With the deficiencies shown by the Chivas back line and midfield, it will not be surprising for both Edwin Cardona and Yimmi Chara to have success up the middle and wings.
Both teams have aspirations to the league title this year and have started the campaign ideally. While it is still early in the season, Liga MX’s short tournaments make it so that every game counts and this one will be no different. With both teams being explosive on the attacking side, expect for this match to live up to the hype of being the most attractive match of the weekend.
Date: Saturday, January 7
Time: 5:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Central, 8:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Estadio BBVA Bancomer
Television: United States - Univision, Univision Deportes Network; Mexico - Sky HD, SKY Planeta Fútbol
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)