There’s never a good time to go to Guadalajara and face Chivas, but if there ever was one time that came close to being good, it’s now. Xolos head to Estadio Omnilife on the back of a 6-2 demolition of Puebla in Tijuana, and a team that at full-strength looked to be firing on all cylinders. While they looked rather pedestrian in the Copa MX match on Wednesday against Cimarrones de Sonora, it was a squad mostly made up of bench options and Miguel Herrera was forced to sit in the stands as the result of a match ban picked up during the last Copa MX match Xolos played in.
Look for the full first team to be on display against Chivas. Gibran Lajud, Damián Pérez, and Avilés Hurtado didn’t play on Wednesday in Hermosillo, and Milton Caraglio, Paul Arriola, and Victor Malcorra saw limited minutes off of the bench. The only Xolos goalscorer this year that saw a full 90 on Wednesday was Joe Corona, who has been a 60th minute sub for Juan Carlos Medina in both matches since his return from loan.
Chivas is also coming into the match after a strange showing against Monterrey last week. Guadalajara was up two goals early in the first half when José Vázquez was shown a red card in the 34th minute and Jair Pereira was shown two yellow cards in the span of a few seconds to put Chivas down two men. Monterrey was able to capitalize and score two goals, however the draw somehow felt like a win to Matías Almeyda’s club. While Chivas will be without both Vázquez and Pereira, they will still have Orbelín Pineda, new signing Rodolfo Pizarro, and Alan Pulido menacing the Xolos defense.
Before we get on with this preview, let’s go ahead and thank the referee of last week’s game for ruining the match between Monterrey and Chivas. He ruined it because he left one team with nine men, and we truly were not able to see what two of the top teams in the league had to offer for 90 minutes. That said, things do not get any easier for El Rebaño as they are now set to host Miguel Herrera’s Tijuana side on Saturday night.
Chivas were able to escape their week 2 match against Monterrey with a draw. While the team only finished the game with nine men and took an inordinate amount of shots on goal, there were some positives to take away. The biggest and most important takeaway is that the offense is clicking and scoring goals. Against a team like Xolos, they will need to be consistent and put away as many opportunities as possible, as Tijuana come with a lot of firepower of their own. Goals from Pizarro, Chofis and Pulido (PCP,MSN, BBC, eeehhhh, did I just come up with an acronym for the Chivas’ trident) thus far, relieve some of the pressure on Chivas’ big three, which is fundamental for success on Saturday night and throughout the season.
Obviously the two biggest setbacks heading into week 3 are the suspensions of both Jair Pereira and Gallito Vazquez. The bigger of the two losses is certainly Pereira, but fear not Chivabros, there are adequate replacements that could step in and fill his shoes.
Xolos for their part come into the match having scored six goals this season through two games. While that stat line looks great, it is a bit deceiving. Through three matches in 2017, two Liga MX and one Copa MX, Xolos have only been able to score at home. In fact, Xolos have not been able win away from home since October 30th of 2016, and things will not get any easier as they head into Guadalajara.
Miguel Herrera’s club, though, does have a mental advantage over Chivas, as Almeyda has not been able to defeat Tijuana since taking over the club.
Will Xolos finally be able to win away from home? Will Chivas finally defeat Xolos in the Almeyda era? Will Almeyda finally reveal what hair products he used on those gorgeous locks? Will the refereeing finally be up to par this weekend? A couple of these questions will surely be answered Saturday night. With teams providing an attractive attacking style of play and all the underlying themes, Saturday night’s match looks to be one of the most eye-catching encounters of the weekend.
Game: Club Deportivo Guadalajara vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente
Date: Saturday, January 21st
Time: 7:06 PM Pacific, 9:06 PM Central, 10:06 PM Eastern
Venue: Estadio Omnilife (Guadalajara, Jal.)