Guadalajara visits the Pumas in what is a must-win game for both struggling teams as playoff hopes fade.
The Chivas started the Clausura looking like they would fight for a top seed, but their season has slowly come unraveled. The Pumas, on the other hand, started slowly and have never found their rhythm. Coach David Patíno was sacked after 4 games, but UNAM has yet to respond, sinking into 14th place.
After the Clasico Tapatio on Feb. 16 (a 3-0 Guadalajara win over Atlas), the Chivas were in fourth place. Since then, the Chivas have lost 3 of 4 and the other result was a scoreless draw against last-place Queretaro.
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With six games remaining, Guadalajara finds itself in 11th place, but only 4 points out of a playoff spot. But to get back in the race, the Chivas must overcome two painful Super Clasico losses. America defeated Guadalajara 2-0 on March 13 to knock the Chivas out of the Copa MX, then doubled their pain by beating them 2-0 in a Liga MX match just before the FIFA break.
The Chivas need to turn their season around fast if they wish to avoid missing out on the playoffs for the fourth straight season. To do so, they must rediscover their offense. In the 5 games since that 3-0 win over Atlas, Guadalajara has scored only 1 goal.
The Pumas have no option but to win or their chances of reaching the Liguilla could disappear because their schedule does not get any easier down the stretch. Since defeating America in Matchday 7, the Pumas have gone 0-1-3.
Another big problem for the Pumas is their failure to perform at home. Although UNAM has only lost once at home (to league-leading Leon), the Pumas have only won 1 of their 6 home games thus far.
New coach Bruno Marioni is running out of time to correct the Pumas issues, the most important of which is failing to score goals. With only 11 goals scored in the tournament, the Pumas have the scored the same number of goals as the Chivas. Only three teams have scored fewer.
The Chivas will take the field Estadio Olimpico Universitario without three of their starters due to injury (midfielder Jesus Molina, left back Miguel Ponce and striker Alan Pulido). They have been a total mess the last 6 weeks, but the Pumas have not been much better. The last time the Chivas won at UNAM was in 2004.