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Match preview: Pumas vs Chivas

Pumas will be favored against a Chivas team who will be missing their Coach Victor Manuel Vucetich.

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Chivas v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

Pumas and Chivas will face each other in a key match for both of their seasons. Pumas are currently in third place and will need the win to try to qualify in the top four and guarantee a place in the Liguilla. Chivas meanwhile will have a hard time in getting to fourth place, but with a place in the Repechaje all but guaranteed, they will hope to climb as much as they kind as they face a game with numerous missing players including their coach.

Pumas’ season has been a total surprise. With a squad that wasn’t considered to be among the best, they had further turmoil when Coach Michel left days before the season started because of personal problems in Spain. Pumas had to rely on youth director Andres Lillini as head coach, and although Pumas had a start where they had the results but their level of play wasn’t the best they suddenly started clicking. Pumas ended up being the last team in Liga MX to lose a game and are currently in third place. Now Pumas faces their last two regular season games against two of the biggest teams in Mexico, Chivas and Cruz Azul. Chivas is Pumas’ last regular season game and they should be heavily favored, especially since Chivas will not have several players and the head coach. Yet Pumas has suffered at home at times against teams they have been favored including getting a 1-1 tie against FC Juarez, even when FC Juarez had two red cards. They also suffered a tie against struggling Necaxa. Yet Pumas is the team playing better and will be coming in with the stronger squad, so their favorite tag is well earned.

Chivas’ season has been a rollercoaster. Their early start had them failing to score a goal for three games, and ended up with the team being the first to fire their coach by getting rid of Luis Fernando Tena. Victor Manuel Vucetich became the new coach and although they improved result wise, they did do so with their level of play. Thus Chivas would eventually have bad losses against America and just last week against Cruz Azul. To make matters worse, they had problems with COVID-19 which meant that Antonio Briseño, Jose Javier Vasquez and Angel Zaldivar missed the Cruz Azul game because of positive tests. Although Vasquez is set to play against Pumas, now the problem was that most of the coaching staff, including Vucetich, tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the match against Pumas. Also their top scorer, Jose Juan Macias will also miss the game. Thus not only is Chivas struggling, but they will have notable absences for the match. While players like Alexis Vega will step up for Macias, they will most likely struggle especially without a coaching staff. Thus Chivas will not be favored on Saturday, but they still should be tough team for Pumas especially since lesser squads that Chivas have given them trouble at home.

Pumas and Chivas will be an interesting match. Chivas hasn’t had the best results against Pumas, but they have given Pumas trouble in most matches played there even when the results haven’t been the best. Thus for Pumas it won’t be easy but they should be favored especially because of Chivas not coming in with their best forward or their normal coaching staff.

Game: Club Universidad Nacional vs. Club Deportivo Guadalajara S.A. de C.V.

Date: Saturday, October 31st

Time: 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 p.m. Central, 6:00 p.m. Pacific, 1:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Olímpico Universitario (Coyocán, D.F.)

Referees: REF: César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos, AR1: Andres Hernández Delgado, AR2: Miguel Angel Chua Ortiz, 4TH: Juan Andres Esquivel Gonzalez, VAR: Jorge Isaac Rojas Castillo, AVAR: Igor Itzsvan Flores Florian

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