Last Result: Chivas 2-2 Necaxa 8/5/17
Chivas have not gotten off to the hottest start in 2018. The 12-time champions have yet to earn their first win of the tournament. They couldn’t break a 1-1 draw over Toluca in week one despite looking like the better team at times. In week two, things went from bad to worse for Los Rojiblancos. After taking a first-half lead against Cruz Azul, the Guadalajara defense fell apart and let in three Maquina goals for Chivas to come away with zero points. The biggest problem, a usual one, for Chivas has been finding the back of the net. Scorers like Alan Pulido and Rodolfo Pizarro have so far been disappointing in finishing. Both players combined for 10 shots in the first two games.
Lineup Changes: Chivas will still be without midfielder Michael Perez and the club announced they will also be without promising forward Jose Juan Macias due to a scar inflammation and a thigh injury on the team’s website. This game will also be the first call-up for defender Oswaldo Alanis.
Players to Watch: Javier Eduardo “Chofis” Lopez has so far been the leader for Chivas offensively. The midfielder has given Chivas its only goal of the season and has created many opportunities on offense for the club. It will be interesting to see if Oswaldo Alanis starts and how he will play after his fiasco with Chivas over the break.
It has been the same story for Necaxa. Los Rayos will be searching for their first win as well, but more than that, will also be looking for their first goal of the tournament. They drew 0-0 against Veracruz at home in a snoozer, and lost 1-0 at Tijuana last Friday. On the bright side for Necaxa, they blasted Zacatepec 5-0 in the Copa MX last Tuesday, so we will see if they finally return to goalscoring form. Ignacio Ambriz’s side come from a well-played Apertura tournament that saw them barely miss the Liguilla by one point.
Player to Watch: It’s hard to pick a player to watch on a team that has zero goals in the league, but goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero has been solid since the day he arrived at the Estadio Victoria. The former River Plate keeper is a big reason why Necaxa has only received one goal so far and he will be essential against Chivas.
Date: Saturday, January 20
Time: 7:00pm Pacific, 9:00pm Central, 10:00pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio Victoria, Aguascalientes, Mexico
TV: ESPN Deportes(US-Spanish), Univision Deportes Network(US - Spanish), UnivisionTDN (Mexico)
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)