Guadalajara must start collecting points immediately to mitigate its relegation issues. The Tigres are up next.
One of the more intriguing match-ups on the second weekend of the Apertura 2019 sees the Chivas hosting the Tigres. Guadalajara comes into the game having lost six straight – five exhibition games and its season opener, a 3-0 loss to Santos Laguna that could have been worse.
The Tigres arrive to Estadio Akron coming off a convincing 4-2 win against Morelia last weekend in the league and a 1-0 road victory against Real Salt Lake in the Leagues Cup.
Chivas on the rise?
Guadalajara played a decent game against Atletico de Madrid in the International Champions Cup (ICC) on Tuesday and that might force coach Tomas Boy into some tough decisions. The Chivas defense looked especially stout with the likes of new defender Antonio “Pollo” Briseño while goalkeeper Raul Gudiño kept a clean slate.
Boy has basically used two separate squads the past two weeks as the ICC tournament ran over into the regular season. Up until the Atletico Madrid match neither of them performed that well. With the ICC over now, Boy must focus on developing a competent squad. They played a 5-3-2 in their shut-out of Atletico.
Goalie Jose Antonio Rodriguez was a mess against Santos and shouldn’t be looked at as a starter for a long time. Defender Alejandro Mayorga was caught out of position various times and moved up offensively far too often. Not much can be said about the offense which was unproductive in both the ICC and the Liga MX. In fact, the Chivas have been blanked six times since their preseason began. Midfielder Eduardo “Chofis” Lopez has had some good moments but lacks decent play around him. Winger Walter Gael Sandoval has been ineffective while last season’s best player, Isaac Brizuela, has not been able to provide a cross to save his life. Up front, new acquisition Oribe Peralta looks a step too slow.
Possible line-up: 5-3-2
The Chivas look to shore up their defense with a 5-man back line:
Mayorga, Alanis, Mier, Briseño, Van Rankin
Villalpando, Cervantas, Molina
Powerhouse Tigres take no prisoners
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The Tigres trashed Morelia 4-2 in their league opener then coasted to a 1-0 win over Real Salt City to advance to the Leagues Cup semifinals where they’ll play America.
Tuca Ferretti relies upon a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Argentine midfielder Guido Pizzaro being the defensive linchpin. Pizarro’s talent allows winger Javier Aquino the freedom to move all over the field and he contributed a brace against Morelia. Defender Chaka Rodriguez added a goal against the Monarcas, continuing the good run he had this summer with the national team.
The Tigres are a genuine title contender and that’s without striker Andre-Pierre Gignac scoring last week. Argentine midfielder Lucas Zelarayan is a playmaker who missed five months last season with an injury, but he is back now.
Nahuel Guzman is a tank in goal, and central defender Carlos Salcedo is playing very well; it’s almost not fair. Coach Ferreti is a firm believer in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I suspect he will do the same this week against a Chivas team that is of the same caliber as Morelia.
Tigres like to use a 4-2-3-1:
Chaka, Ayala, Salcedo, Vasquez
Quiñones, Zelarayan, Aquino
I see the Chivas looking better defensively, and finally getting their first goal in six games. But they’ll come up short due to a brace from Gignac, who should have scored last week. Tomas Boy’s seat gets hotter and the odds of his getting fired will increase, while the Tigres continue their good run of form in search of another title.