Chivas under pressure in road opener vs Santos

Michael Perez celebrates after scoring for Guadalajara in a game against Leon during the Clausura 2019 season. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images)
Michael Perez celebrates after scoring for Guadalajara in a game against Leon during the Clausura 2019 season. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images) /

The new-look Chivas open up the Apertura 2019 season with a trip to Santos Laguna, another team looking to change its fortunes.

Tomas Boy has a difficult task ahead of him. The Guadalajara coach must show the ability to select the proper starting line-ups because his job is to deliver wins and to win often so that the Chivas can escape the relegation zone quickly.

The Chivas spent this summer remaking their roster, acquiring players to bolster all of their lines. Goalkeeper Jose Antonio Rodriguez returned to the team, while central defenders Antonio Briseño and Oswaldo Alanis (also a former Chiva) will try to shore up the defense. Up front, striker Oribe Peralta will provide veteran leadership and savvy.

Guadalajara faltered during the Clausura 2019, earning only 5 wins, while drawing 3 and losing 9, compiling 18 points. This left the Chivas in 14th position in the league standings.

Guadalajara failed to classify for the Liguilla and suffered an 8-game winless streak that led to a change of coaches. The Chivas were a circus, and not the fun kind as far as Guadalajara fans were concerned.

Guadalajara spent a fortune to acquire striker Alexis Vega in January, putting him on a front line with Alan Pulido and savvy midfielder Isaac Brizuela, but the Chivas only managed 16 goals in 17 games. No one stepped up as a lethal threat throughout the tournament.

With the addition of veteran forward Oribe Peralta, management hopes to ignite a fire under the forwards, and generate some scoring in the Apertura 2019.

Santos Laguna was 4 points better and three spots higher than the Chivas in the Clausura 2019, and they too missed the playoffs. The Guerreros posted a 6-4-7 record, good for 22 points, but 6 points out of a playoff spot in 11th.

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Santos has slipped considerably from the team that won the Liga MX title in the Clausura 2018, then finished fourth in the Apertura 2018. With veteran players like goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco, defender Gerardo Arteaga, central midfielder Jose Juan Vazquez, midfielder Diego Valdes and forward Julio Furch, Santos could make a mark in the Apertura 2019.

New players will also be expected to contribute from the start. Defender Felix Torres, midfielders Eryc Castillo and Fernando Gorriaran, plus forward Raul Rivero will see the field for new coach Guillermo Almada.

These two teams faced off during Matchday 4 last season with Santos winning at home 1-0.


Both teams are nervous to start their first game so both will surely come out guns blazing to start the Apertura 2019 on the right foot. I see the Chivas winning a tough road game at the Estadio Corona, home of Club Santos Laguna. One reason I favor Guadalajara is because they have their backs to the wall and simply must start piling up points from the outset.

Chivas 2, Santos 0