It’s that time of the year again. Here are some bold predictions for the 2019 Liga MX Apertura....
Tomas Boy will no longer be manager at Chivas. Let’s be real here. Does anybody really think Tomas Boy will last all season at Chivas? Even his former colleagues at ESPN Deportes joke around about keeping his seat warm for when the inevitable happens. It’s just unfortunate oddsmakers don’t have NBA-style props for first Liga MX manager to get fired. That sounds like easy money to me.
Tigres won’t win back-to-back titles. Listen, winning back-to-back titles in Mexico isn’t easy (it’s actually not easy in any sport). Consistency is always a problem in Mexico for defending champs, and while nobody is discounting the potential this Tigres team has, the fact of the matter is they aren’t in any rush to prove a point. They’ve won five league titles in the last eight years. Leave some for the rest of us.
Giovani dos Santos will struggle in his first season at América. This one seems like a no-brainer. Giovani dos Santos is coming off a long period of inactivity, and for a big team like Club América, time is a luxury. There is no denying we will see Giovani dos Santos at some point this season, but you get the feeling that coach Miguel Herrera will take his time with the 30-year-old forward.
Club America’s dominance in Clásicos will continue. Prior to last season, everybody knew the stat of Miguel Herrera not losing in rivalry matches against Chivas, Cruz Azul and Pumas. Well, Las Águilas took a stumble last season, losing 3-0 to Pumas in Week 7 and against Cruz Azul in the Liguilla. This season, Club América will have the luxury of playing all three regular season Clásicos at the Estadio Azteca, and on paper, they should win all three.
The Liguilla fight will go until the very end. Last season, there was a lot of traffic in the middle of the table, but ultimately, the last two weeks of the regular season proved nothing more than routine, with only a pair of teams fighting for the last two spots in the Liguilla. Assuming teams like Xolos de Tijuana, Pachuca, and Necaxa carry in that momentum from last season and couple it with the likely reemergence of teams like Santos Laguna, Pumas UNAM and Toluca, we are in for a good fight in the Apertura.
Oribe Peralta will be Chivas’ leading goalscorer. Alright, negative press aside, albeit on the older side, Oribe Peralta’s controversial move to Chivas made some sense. Alexis Vega was last season’s big acquisition, but from the start, the Rojiblancos were always getting a player too similar to Alan Pulido. In some respect, Oribe Peralta has more of a scoring punch, and while the 35-year-old will certainly take his stumbles inside the box, he is still going to score some goals.
Rodolfo Pizarro’s last season in Mexico. Why is Rodolfo Pizarro still playing in Liga MX? Rumors have been in abundance, but it appears like Pizarro will be spending at least one more season in Monterrey. The Rayados are primed to be one of the main contenders to lift the title, and evidently, there is a mutual understanding that the best time for Pizarro leave will be after this season. Pizarro has been showing steady improvement ever since his time at Chivas, and the only way to go now seems to be in Europe.
What are your bold predictions for the 2019 Liga MX Apertura?