The first round of matches in the new Guard1anes 2021 were completed on Monday night with the 1-1 draw between Pachuca and FC Juárez, and it was done so with practically no surprises; Rayados, Tigres, and América all took care of business while Chivas, Pumas, and Cruz Azul predictably struggled and were unable to come away with a victory. Even Mazatlán’s victory over Necaxa wasn’t all that eye-opening, considering their vast improvement since the appointment of Tomás Boy as head coach.
With that, Liga MX is back underway and has given football fans a reason to be excited again. As usual, we give way to our Round 2 BOLD PREDICTIONS:
- Chivas grab first win of season. Vucetich’s squad will play hosts to Toluca on Saturday at 6 ET (5 CT), in what will be Chivas’ home opener of the Guard1anes 2021 season. After what the ‘Rebaño Sagrado’ showed on Friday in Puebla, not many fans were happy, and understandably so. Puebla is one of the teams who underwent the most changes in this short offseason and are barely getting to know each other as a unit. However, ‘Vuce’ knows how to set games up for success at home and has proven it time and time again. Considering Toluca’s extreme inconsistency we saw last season, I wouldn’t expect them to follow up a 3-1 home victory with another win on the road. Look for Chivas to claim their first victory of the season at home on Saturday.
- América rescue point vs. Janssen-less Rayados. Yesterday in practice, Vincent Janssen fractured his right hand after falling on it. The club determined surgery was the best solution, causing the Dutch star to miss the next two to three weeks of action. Had this not occurred, my prediction would’ve been the Dutchman scoring the winning goal on Saturday, given his clutch gene and knowing how to show up and make a difference in close games. Not to mention, he played an important role in their victory last season in the Azteca over América before being showed a red card. Instead, I predict América will come out of the BBVA with at least a point, if not all three, due to the striker’s absence and Rayados missing that key difference maker on the pitch.
- Tigres claim ‘Clásico del Norte’. Tuca and company will be paying Guillermo Almada and his Santos squad a visit come Sunday at 8 ET (7 CT). Despite Santos overcoming Cruz Azul last Sunday with a 1-0 final, there’s no denying they got a bit lucky, and had ‘La Máquina’ come out with greater finesse in their attack, they could’ve easily flipped the score. Still, credit to Santos for making life difficult and coming away with the win. They will be a tough test for anyone this season. With all of that said, I see a determination in Tigres that I hadn’t seen for quite some time, at least when starting a season. They looked very sharp and on point Saturday against current champs León, and they have to be, considering they’re headed to Qatar in less than a month to represent CONCACAF in the Club World Cup. I predict Santos will stand no chance when facing Gignac, Carlos González, and the rest of those bad boys this weekend, as Tigres will win their second in as many attempts.