Guadalajara can’t ease up against Puebla because they still have serious relegation concerns.
The Chivas and Puebla get Matchday 3 rolling in Estadio Cuauhtémoc Friday night, followed by a clash between two of the three perfect teams thus far – Santos at Atlas.
The Chivas pulled off a big upset last week, stunning the defending champion Tigres 2-0. The win might have delayed the sacking of coach Tomás Boy, who has come under fire even though only two games have been played.
Boy is considered the most popular selection for “First coach fired” primarily because his champion – former Chivas team president José Luis Higuera – was fired last month. Some wags predicted that if the Chivas lost to Puebla he would be gone. But that was before the win over the Tigres.
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The Chivas have been juggling their line-up early on, primarily because they had International Champions Cup games on either side of their season opener. It will be interesting to see who Boy utilizes as the season progresses. He has two quality goalies – José Antonio Rodríguez and Raúl Gudiño – and a surplus of midfielders to choose from.
Puebla had a bye last week and looked disorganized against Tijuana in a Matchday 1 loss at home. Coach José Luis Sánchez Sola will have to work his magic to turn this club into a playoff contender, something he managed to do last season when the Camoteros had a shot at the postseason heading into the final weekend.
The big game of the Friday night doubleheader is the nightcap. First place Santos visits Atlas, both teams arriving at Estadio Jalisco with perfect 2-0-0 records (UNAM is the only other perfect team through two weeks).
This contest will be the first between these two franchises that are now run by the same management company – Orlegi Deportes. The link-up resulted in some roster sharing as Santos sent defender Hugo Nervo and striker Javier Correa to Atlas over the summer.
Santos brought in Uruguayan midfielder Fernando Gorriarán from Hungary and acquired winger Eryc Castillo from Tijuana. The Guerreros have been rather productive thus far, winning both games by 3-0 scores, and Brian Lozano has scored in each game.
Atlas, on the other hand, has looked disciplined on defense, but has not faced quality competition yet. The Zorros defeated Juárez 1-0 in their home opener, then edged Morelia 1-0 last week.