Let’s face it, much like Brazil every four years at the World Cup, you can never not take Club América seriously in Liga MX. No matter how you analyze it, las Águilas are always a legitimate threat to the title, and although this season has been a wild ride for Miguel Herrera’s men, they are just 180 minutes away from another league title.
Here are three reasons why las Águilas will beat Monterrey to win the 2019 Liga MX Apertura.
1. This is Miguel Herrera’s América
Miguel Herrera has said it over and over again through the course of the campaign. The only acceptable conclusion to this América season would be lifting the trophy on Sunday at the Estadio Azteca. Herrera definitely knows a thing or two about lifting trophies, and it is arguable Herrera has been the best Club América manager of the last three decades. Statistically speaking, Herrera has participated in nine Liguillas with las Águilas, five Semifinals, and four Finals, while also winning the league title twice with las Águilas.
Among other things, you can even say Herrera is currently the best Mexican manager in both Liga MX and abroad. Not always the most likable character in the Mexican game, Herrera has evolved with the times and has built his own style, one that is actually more appropriate for a Liguilla-style tournament. Take the return leg against Monarcas Morelia in the Semifinals. América’s comeback win was basically a tactical masterclass from Miguel Herrera and a demonstration of just how much he has grown as a manager. Small tactical adjustments like the introduction of Roger Martinez down the right-hand side and Sebastian Cordova as left back made all the difference as las Águilas came from two goals down seal their place in the Final.
Put it this way, Miguel Herrera not only has the tactical maturity and experience to lead América to another league title, he has all the credentials to be an era-defining manager for las Águilas.
2. Plenty of options on the attack
While it is true that Monterrey have one of the best squads in all of Mexico, it would also be foolish to ignore all the talent available for Club América. This is particularly true on the offensive side of things where América have a score of options including Nico Castillo, Roger Martinez, Federico Viñas and Henry Martin. América were only the fourth best offense across the regular season, but it’s this diversity of attackers that makes them such a dangerous side.
In fact, it is no mystery the defense has been the most exposable part of this Monterrey team, and whether Club América want to play a more possession-based game or try to play on the breakaway, there is an option for that. At the end, these are the kind series that are defined after 180 minutes. Whatever happens in the First Leg, Club América have the offensive capability to adapt to any scenario that presents itself.
3. Las Águilas will arrive to this Final well-rested and with a plan
If you are not a fan of these Christmas-week Liga MX Finals, you can direct your ire at the league and its crappy scheduling. Obviously, Monterrey’s Club World Cup obligations meant that the Liga MX Final was postponed a few weeks, giving Club América more than enough time to rest. Now, depending who you to talk to, this can be either a good thing or a bad thing, but considering just how banged up las Águilas have been this season, it might turn out a blessing in disguise for Miguel Herrera.
Then there is also the amount of miles Monterrey have piled up from their visit to Qatar. Yes, with the way modern football works nowadays, there is no excuse for Monterrey not to arrive fresh to their games against América. However, while Club América have been chilling in Mexico City, Monterrey have had their focus elsewhere on the other side of the world and giving América plenty of material to work with in the process. With just how academic the game is now, there is no excuse for América not to study up and have a gameplan ready to execute. They have the players. They’ve had the time. The question now is will they make it count?