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Match preview: Chivas vs. Cruz Azul

Chivas and Cruz Azul will battle as the two struggling teams try to improve their placement before the start of the Liguilla.

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Chivas v Atlas - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images

Chivas and Cruz Azul play a key match as they face each other on Sunday. Chivas has been getting results and improving somewhat, but are still leaving a lot to be desired to many fans with their performances. This includes the Clasico Tapatio, in which they had a 3-0 lead but ended up winning by a score of 3-2. Meanwhile Cruz Azul had a solid season for most of it but are in their biggest slump, a slump that has them out of the Top Four and into the Repechaje Zone after two consecutive losses and three games without a win.

Chivas’ season has been very inconsistent. It started with a lackluster start that ended up costing Coach Luis Fernando Tena his job. With their new coach being highly respected Victor Manuel Vucetich, a lot of fans expected the team to improve. Although the results were somewhat better, they still weren’t playing up to expectations as they continued to struggle on the offense and being able to hold on to leads. A couple of mistakes by goalkeeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez caused him to get benched, and although the results with keeper Raul Gudiño were better they still weren’t great, including a loss to America in the Superclasico, the biggest match in Mexican football. Since that match, Chivas hasn’t lost a game and yet their record in those matches (two wins and one tie) was better than the level of play shown. Now they will face a tough matchup against Cruz Azul, although Chivas could not ask for a better time to face them, as Cruz Azul has their worst level of the season. Still knowing that they are now in fifth place could make Cruz Azul a dangerous team, and if Chivas struggled against Mazatlan and Atlas also at home, Cruz Azul should be a tougher opponent even when they are struggling and playing away. To make matters worse, Chivas also announced there would be three players missing for the game because of positive COVID-19 tests. Thus this should be Chivas’ toughest test since the Superclasico and the true measuring stick to see if they are going to be candidates for the title in the Liguilla.

Cruz Azul has been one of the top teams this season. After ending last Clausura 2020 in first place before the tournament was cancelled because of COVID-19, Cruz Azul started in the best way by winning the Copa GNP por Mexico in the pre season. Then as the season started they climbed up to first place early enough and have remained in the Top Four zone for most of the season. Still although they were getting results, as the season went on they were having a decrease in their level of play. Then after a tough scoreless tie against America, Cruz Azul’s streak of good results came to an end. They clearly lost away to Toluca by a score of 2-0. Then last week they did the same against Tigres at home and by the same score. Thus Cruz Azul fell out of the Top Four as Tigres passed them by with the victory. Although they are still at a solid fifth place, it’s the worst time of the season for the Mexico City team. Chivas should be a tough hurdle although they have also struggled. Yet with games against Monterrey and Pumas to close out the season, Chivas could be the best opportunity for Cruz Azul to get back into the Top Four although it increases the pressure on the team.

Chivas and Cruz Azul is a tough match to predict. Both teams seem to be struggling although overall Chivas seems to be slowly improving while Cruz Azul is going in the other direction. Still Cruz Azul looks to be the better squad, and Chivas seems to be struggling with COVID-19 problems besides their lackluster play. It shouldn’t be a surprise if Cruz Azul comes out with the win as they try a last push to get into the primer Top Four position in the Liguilla.

Game: Club Deportivo Guadalajara S.A de C.V vs. Club Deportivo Social y Cultural Cruz Azul Asociación S.A. de C.V.

Date: Sunday, October 25th

Time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern, 6:30 p.m. Central, 4:30 p.m. Pacific, 10:30 p.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio AKRON (Zapopan, Jal.)

Referees: REF: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo, AR1: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala, AR2: Enrique Martìnez Sandoval, 4TH: Louis Adrian Vielmas Valdez, VAR: Fernando Hernandez Gomez, AVAR: Fabrice Paul Plancon-jallet

Television: United States - Telemundo; Mexico - TUDN, Azteca 7; Argentina - Canal de Estrellas; Bosnia and Herzigovina - SportKlub 1 Serbia; Costa Rica - TUDN; Croatia - SportKlub 1 Croatia; El Salvador - TUDN; Guatemala - TUDN; Honduras - TUDN; Macedonia - SportKlub 1 Serbia; Montenegro - SportKlub 1 Serbia; Nicaragua - TUDN; Panama - TUDN; Serbia - SportKlub 1 Serbia; Slovenia - SportKlub 3 Serbia

Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Telemundo Deportes