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Match preview: Tigres vs Chivas

Tigres will be favored against a Chivas side that can’t seem to score goals.

Chivas v Tigres UANL - Copa GNP por Mexico Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

Tigres and Chivas will meet on Saturday as they hope to move past their latest woes that have fans criticizing their teams. Tigres are going to hope to end their three game streak where they have been scored on in injury time to drop points (one loss and two ties). Meanwhile Chivas will hope their scoring woes end, as they have only scored four goals in the season and have gone scoreless in five games out of seven games played. They will have a tough task, and it’s probably Tigres who is more favored to end their negative streak than Chivas.

Like every season, Tigres was expected to contend for the Liga MX title thanks to their superior squad. In some things they have shined, especially with their best player Andre-Pierre Gignac being the leading goal scorer. Yet in other areas, they have been lacking. After a normal start (two wins and two ties), Tigres started a strange streak. First, things started to go wrong when both goalkeepers (Nahuel Guzman and Miguel Ortega) tested positive for COVID-19. Tigres ended up without goalkeepers since both U20 keepers were out injured, and they had to sign Carlos Galindo, a U20 keeper they had just released at the start of the season to be their keeper against Toluca. In that game, Tigres had an even match but in the 90th minute, Toluca’s Alexis Canelo got a shot past Galindo to give Toluca the 3-2 win. It was a strange result but a week later, they would be the better side at home against Pumas and get a 1-0 lead. Yet in the 91st minute, off a corner kick that was badly defended, Carlos Gonzalez headed it in to tie the game at 1-1. Then last week against Mazatlan FC, Tigres took a 1-0 lead only to flounder in the last minutes and once again, this time in the 95th minute, off a corner kick they allowed a header from Miguel Sansores to settle for a tie. Tigres’ streak of last minute goals has them only getting two points out nine instead of the seven they would have had, had they only held on to their leads.

Chivas meanwhile had a terrible start in which they failed to score a goal in their first three games while they only grabbed a single point. This caused Chivas to fire their Coach Luis Fernando Tena and hire veteran coach Victor Manuel Vucetich. Chivas bounced back with two straight wins but after that, they once again went back to not scoring. A 1-0 loss to Toluca and a 0-0 tie against Pachuca has Chivas in a new scoring drought, and their fans worrying about the season. Once again Chivas is failing to create scoring opportunities, just like with Coach Tena, and there is an incredible dependence on attacking on the wings which makes thing easier for other teams to handle them. It also doesn’t help that once again the team is filled with off the field problems, first with a number of COVID-19 cases in which the team tried to hide that the players did have symptoms of the diseases and weren’t asymptomatic. Then it was a video of Alexis Vega and Uriel Antuna drinking heavily in a party which made Chivas suspend both players for the Toluca match. This week, Chivas made news by sending forward Ronaldo Cisneros and Cristian Calderon to play with their Liga de Expansion team, Tapatio. Chivas, who wouldn’t be favored for this game, look less likely with all this turmoil around the team.

Tigres and Chivas should be an interesting matchup. They already faced each other in the Copa GNP por Mexico in which Tigres gave Chivas their only loss of the group stage with a 2-0 win with two goals by Gignac. With Gignac playing well, Tigres being at home and Chivas struggling more than Tigres, there is no question that Tigres is favored to win the game. Still the fact they have failed to close out games for many games and even with a side like Mazatlan, which looks to be inferior to Chivas, should be that Tigres should be careful about believing that favorite tag at least until the ref blows the end whistle.