Given all the absences Chivas has had to start the Apertura ’17, their first two games have been rather satisfying. Two points in two games against two opponents many consider contenders, all while not being at full strength. Next up for Matias Almeyda’s herd, they are set to host Necaxa, a team that started the season fast out of the gate and are currently tied in points a top the table. Although it is still rather early in the season, Nacho Ambriz could not have hoped for a better start for his Rayos. Los Rayos will look to come into Estadio Chivas not only looking to get their third straight victory, but also their first victory over Chivas in their last eight matches. Chivas for their part look to get their first win of the season.
For Matias Almeyda the beginning of the season has been a real test. Key Injuries along with players out with the national team has meant many absences. Yet, the team has managed to maintain a high level of play. Now Chivas might not have any victories thus far, but two draws to start the tournament with the club not being anywhere near full strength shows a lot of promise for the defending champs. Last week marked the return of Orbelin Pineda and Rodolfo Pizarro and their presence was made instantly. Thanks to an amazing individual play by Rodolfo Pizarro, where he split two defenders and put it in the upper 90 of the opposite post, Chivas were able to pull off the draw away at Cruz Azul.
This week versus Necaxa marks the first time all season Chivas is as close to full strength, minus of course Alan Pulido, who will be out all season. Oswaldo Alanis and Gallito Vasquez both return from injuries, Chofis, Conejito Brizuela and Zaldivar seem to be returning back to form and of course Pizarro and Orbelin are both already in top shape. Aris Hernandez is set to miss the match due to a red card he received last Saturday, but if Almeyda has shown us anything is that he is able to plug players in and maximize their efforts. Chivas at half strength has shown they can compete, so a complete team should regain the championship level they showed last year.
After missing la Liguilla last season, Nexaca’s ownership sacked then manager Alfonso Sosa and brought in Necaxa Legend Nacho Ambriz. Ambriz who once managed Chivas and was last seen on the Club America bench seems to have found the formula to get this team back to their glory days early on. While the team has gotten off to a fast start, Necaxa has not been able to beat chivas in their last eight encounters and the last time Ambriz took on Matias Almeyda, his team lost 3-0. To top it all off, Chivas are riding a 16 game home unbeaten streak dating back to last season. Of course none of those numbers matter this season, but they are something to look at as these teams are set to face off.
Out of both these teams, Chivas is the one who is in need of the victory Saturday night, but this does not mean Necaxa will come into Zapopan and lay down. With both teams theoretically unbeaten and looking to extend those unbeaten streaks ,Saturday night’s match looks to be another highly contested match.
Date: Saturday, August 5
Time: 7:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 PM Central, 10:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Estadio Chivas, Zapopan Mexico
Television: Univision (US-Spanish), TDN (Mexico)
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)
Listings via LiveSoccerTV.com.