This season has been a tale of two cities for Chivas and Tigres who meet tonight at 10:05 ET / 9:05 CT / 7:05 PT in a Matchday 9 make up game. Chivas are coming in steaming hot while Tigres have cooled off in a considerable way of late. But things are very different than what they were a month ago for both of these clubs. And the interesting part is they both started to shift at just about the exact same time.
On the original date these two were expected to meet (August 16-18), both teams had played their expected 8 matches. Chivas found themselves winless and at the bottom of the table alongside Querétaro and others with a record of 0W, 6D, 2L. Tigres on the other hand, blew it up to start the season with a record of 6W, 0D, 2L. They even had a 5-game winning streak during that span at one point.
Since that moment, both clubs have played 6 matches. Chivas awoke with their 0-4 road win vs. Necaxa, and have 5W, 1D, 0L since. Tigres on the flip side, have a record of 1W, 3D, 2L, including draws against Pumas and Necaxa, with a home loss vs. León, all of which they were expected to win.
Credit to Chivas for not relying on just one player during this streak. In this 6-game span, Chivas have had seven different goalscorers, plus an own goal from keeper Gil Alcalá in their favor. They’ve found different ways to get the job done despite their limited talent pool.
In regards to Tigres, I wouldn’t be too worried. The players’ attitude has remained the same, their play creation is stupendous, and add in the emergence of Jordy Caicedo to this already potent offense. There are two main factors that have contributed: 1) Their defense has committed a couple costly mistakes that have led to goals, especially in the two losses. 2) Despite the good play creation, they’ve failed to convert, unlike the start of the season. If they can start scoring on one or two of those chances, they should be just fine, and even a defensive mishap here or other won’t make much of a difference.
Without taking any credit away from Chivas, this is by far their toughest matchup over the past 6 games. 4 out of their 5 wins have come against teams placed 10th or lower in the table (the Rayados win was the only one that wasn’t). Tonight, Cadena’s squad will send a huge statement if they’re able to win again, as not only would they defeat the always tough Tigres, but they would jump over them in the league table with only two matches left in the regular season, still alive in their attempt to finish in the top 4.
For Herrera and company, it’s a good shot at redemption after Saturday’s home loss as well as at regaining confidence, as they’ve let some simple matches slip of late, dropping them from the top 4, and they get to do it facing a historic team in Chivas. However, if they fail to win, their chances at avoiding Repechaje will decrease significantly. Not to mention, it’s never good to carry a negative streak into the playoffs. Expect the possibility of Herrera shaking things up a bit as he searches for an answer to end this slump, as reports surfaced his starting XI in yesterday’s training session looked different than usual.