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Match preview: UNAM Pumas vs Chivas de Guadalajara

Pumas and Chivas face off as they hope to put their season struggles behind them.

Pumas UNAM v Queretaro - Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Two of the biggest teams in Mexico face each other in the middle of great crisis by both. Pumas will host Chivas, with both teams struggling in every aspect as they face the need to get points. Pumas will try to get only their second win of the season, as they face missing three players because of red card suspension. Meanwhile Chivas will need to start their comeback without their top player Alexis Vega, who was injured in the World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica.

Pumas’ season has been once again terrible. After missing out on the Liguilla last season they added various players, but most of the signings didn’t have much expectation from fans. They have so far unfortunately lived up to the fears of the fans. Washington Corozo has been the best addition, being key in their only win and even getting a call up to Ecuador’s national team. Yet the two Brazilian signings Higor Meritao and Jose Rogerio haven’t done well. They were the two most controversial signings, as they came from Brazil’s fourth division, and so far haven’t proven fans’ skepticism wrong. The worst signing however has been veteran Efrain Velarde, who was on the outs with Mazatlan and has proven them right so far with a very poor level of play.

Besides the signings, Pumas just haven’t played well under Coach Andres Lillini. To make matters worse, they had three red cards in their match against Toluca including Juan Ignacio Dinenno, who will be missing the Chivas match. Pumas looks to be down players and it doesn’t look good for Sunday’s match, although they have the advantage of facing a team in a similar situation.

Chivas is also a team in the midst of heavy struggles. Without any signings in the off season, they came into the tournament with the same team that struggled last season and without striker Jose Juan Macias, who was transferred to Getafe in Spain. Not surprisingly, their season showed that same level of play and they have only had two wins, the last one a controversial one. Chivas now have a bigger problem when their best player, Alexis Vega, got injured in the World Cup Qualifier played in Costa Rica and will be out for weeks. This means that Chivas’ struggling offense will now be futher weakened.

Although Pumas has been struggling as well, Chivas might just be doing worse and they will be the away team, although to their benefit the game will not be played in the 12:00 PM hour that Pumas normally plays in. Still they will have a tough time as they face the post-Alexis Vega part of the season.

Pumas and Chivas are two of the most popular teams in Mexico, with Chivas even having claims to being the biggest. Yet they haven’t done anything to play like big teams are supposed to. They both have a prime opportunity to change things around on Sunday, but the fact that they aren’t doing well might mean that it’s probable the game also ends up imitating their season, disappointing both groups of fans.