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Match Preview: Chivas vs. Queretaro

Chivas got a great victory on Saturday but will be facing the surprise team of the season so far.

Tigres UANL v Chivas - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

After a solid victory, Chivas will hope to keep the good times going as they face a team also flying high in Queretaro. Chivas got their first win against Tigres at Estadio Universitario in 10 years as they scored more than two goals for the first time in a game this season with the 3-1 victory. Queretaro though scored one better with a 4-1 win over Toluca, although the game took place at home. It should be an interesting match as Chivas tries to show the Tigres game was no fluke while Queretaro tries to get three wins out of four games against the Mexican “Big Four”.

Chivas struggled early in the season to score goals, and that in part forced the team to make the first coaching change of the season when the fired Luis Fernando Tena. Chivas brought in Victor Manuel Vucetich and has finally broken through, scoring three goals against title contender Tigres. The 3-1 win also had some good moments that have boosted the fans, especially with regards to defender Antonio Briseño who came into the game with great energy including getting into a verbal spar with Andre-Pierre Gignac and diving into the floor to try a “head tackle”. Yet Chivas still needs some work and they hope they can translate their offensive work to end their scoring drought at home, where they have only scored two goals this season, both of them in the same game against Atletico San Luis. They should be favored in terms of squads, but Queretaro has been surprising although all their positive results came at home and they have so far lost all their away games. Thus a visit to Guadalajara, where they already lost in their visit to Atlas, might not as dangerous for Chivas as it would be had they been the team traveling to Queretaro.

Queretaro has been the most surprising team of the tournament so far. With new coach Alex Diego making his Liga MX debut (after some jobs in Ascenso MX) and what most think is the weakest squad of Liga MX after they were raided by Club Tijuana, they have gotten some notable victories. It started when they broke Cruz Azul’s large streak of winning game with a 1-0 victory at home. Then they would get their best result of the season when they crushed America 4-1. While it’s true that America played most of the game with 10 players after a red card to Richard Sanchez, Queretaro still played at a high level and America is still one of the title candidates. Then last week, they once again crushed a team at home with a 4-1 victory over Toluca. Queretaro has done better than anyone expected and have shown to be a tough side for every team although it has to be noted that all their wins have been at home and they lost all their away games. Still after getting wins against Cruz Azul and America, they now face Chivas as the last big four team in Mexico and getting three wins out those big four would be a major accomplishment (even though they troubled them lost their opener against Pumas, the other big four team).

Chivas and Queretaro should be an entertaining match. Chivas’ coach Victor Manuel Vucetich will be facing his old team, a team he was coaching up until the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing salary control by the higher ups forced him to step down. Yet since there were so many changes done by the old owners, as they took most of the players to Xolos (their other team), Vucetich shouldn’t have much of an advantage in knowing the players. Yet even with the surprising form by Queretaro in the Apertura 2020, Chivas should be favored. They are at home and have the better squad. Still it should be a tough game as Diego and Queretaro have shown that they are ready and you can underrated them at your own risk.