The biggest regular season match in Liga MX returns to Guadalajara as Chivas host America on Sunday. Club America will come in as the favorite as they come in sitting in second place, while Chivas is way back at ninth. Still it is a similar place as when they last faced each other in the Liguilla this past season, when Chivas ended up eliminating America starting with a 1-0 victory in the first leg in Guadalajara with a great goal by Cristian Calderon. America will look to get revenge against their archrivals as they try to climb into first place.
Chivas’ season hasn’t been the best, although it has improved somewhat. After getting to the semifinals last season, they didn’t get some critical results including bad losses against Atletico San Luis and FC Juarez. Chivas has improved after getting their first win, and are currently on a six game undefeated run. Yet the results have been better than the level of play with Chivas getting four ties, including two which came up with last minute goals that saved the tie. Now things will get harder as they start facing teams higher in the standings, and it starts against their biggest rival America. Fans will return to Chivas’ stadium for the game, the first time since that game against America. It should be a high intensity match for the team for the first time in the season, but Chivas knows they will need to improve on their recent form. Their recent performances against Queretaro and Mazatlan were subpar, and they were against teams with a lot less talent than America. Yet as everybody knows, “Superclasicos” are a different intensity, and games like that have a habit of turning better performance from both teams as they know how much fans care about these matches.
Club America will be coming to Guadalajara in second place. It will be the first Clasico Nacional for new coach Santiago Solari. Past coach Miguel Herrera’s tenure ended in large part because of their elimination at the hands of Chivas in the Liguilla, which then was followed by a disappointing exit in the CONCACAF Champions League against LAFC. America has been able to get positive results, although fans aren’t as happy with the way the team gets them as their play hasn’t been spectacular. Still with a squad that isn’t as solid as what fans may expect, they have done well. There are also good news on the horizon as the return of their best defender Bruno Valdez is set to happen against Chivas, after a serious injury that had him out for six months. America will be heavy favorites and looking for revenge, but they were also favorites in the last Liguilla and this same team was able to defeat them. Chivas also did so without their best forward Jose Juan Macias, who should play on Sunday and is having a better season than the last. Yet if Club America rises to the level of the occasion, they will have the better chances for a positive result.
Chivas and America is the biggest game of the season and fans will be hoping for a good performance. The high expectations and the fear of losing from both sides at times gives for an even performance as both side don’t got “all out” on offense. Still with the game being the first game in the season with fans in the Estadio Akron in Guadalajara, this might make the players give more. Still it’s an important match for either as Chivas sits on the crossroads while America looks to make a push for first place.
Game: Club Deportivo Guadalajara S.A. de C.V. vs. Club de Fútbol América S.A. de C.V.
Date: Sunday, March 14th
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC - Times in Mexico will be one hour before listed time, as the United States will begin observing Daylight Saving Time on Sunday.
Venue: Estadio Akron (Zapopan, Jal.)
Referees: REF: Marco Antonio Ortiz Nava, AR1: Michel Alejandro Morales Morales, AR2: Karen Janett Díaz Medina, 4TH: Mario Humberto Vargas Mata, VAR: Angel Monroy Bello, AVAR: Fabrice Paul Plancon-jallet