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Match preview: Chivas vs Atlas

The Copa GNP por Mexico starts with the Clasico Tapatio, the big deby in Guadalajara.

Mexican Soccer Stadiums Remain Empty Due To Coronavirus Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images

Chivas and Atlas will start their Copa GNP por Mexico with a Clasico Tapatio. This is Atlas’ most important match possible and Chivas’ second most important after the Clasico Nacional against America. It couldn’t be a more animated a start for a tournament that will be hosted in Chivas’ stadium, although without fans and with every team being a total unknown after three months of inaction because of the suspension of league play because of COVID-19.

Before the COVID-19 emergency, Chivas had been on the rise with a team in the Liguilla zone. Still, Chivas had an up and down season with some of the big signings failing to deliver. Two of the big signings who season didn’t pan out as expected, Uriel Antuna and Cristian Calderon, will be out of the start of the Copa GNP for Mexico because of injuries, so the need for redemption from them will have to wait. Chivas did pick up their level of play as the tournament went on, and many of those players will hope to make a splash against their local rival. Chivas will be hosting the Guadalajara venue where besides Atlas, Mazatlan FC and Tigres will be playing. Thus, Chivas will have the advantage of their host stadium, as they hope to face their city rivals.

Unlike Chivas, Atlas’ Clausura 2020 tournament was a total failure. A bad start meant that they fired Coach Leandro Cufre and signed Rafael Puente Jr as the replacement. The young coach did an even worse job, and continued a long losing streak from his last time as coach from his time in Queretaro. To make matters worse he insulted the Mexican press, and they got their knives out on him because of it. Atlas ultimately improved somewhat, and they closed out the season with a 3-2 away win in Toluca. Puente will have his work cut out for them however and it doesn’t look easy. A clash in a preseason tournament against their biggest rival is a tough task. and a loss could send fans back against him. Still, it’s a preseason tournament where every team is an unknown, although Chivas should be favored not only because they are the “home” team but because they have the better squad.

Sat. July 4th

TV: TUDN 10:00 PM ET/9:00 PM CT