Club América vs Guadalajara – Wednesday 18th October 6:00pm PT/9pm ET – Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico.
Liga MX resumes this Tuesday due to Matchday 10 fixtures being postponed after the Mexico City Earthquake tragedy last month. It might be easy for these fixtures to go under the radar but this Wednesday there is a game that should never be overlooked. The two most successful and most supported teams in the league, Club América vs Guadalajara aka Chivas come face to face in the iconic Estadio Azteca. This fiery affair is titled, El Super Clasico, after the teams first met back in August 1943. Since then there have been 227 meetings in total. Both sides have experienced very different fortunes during the Apertura, but this won’t douse the tie.
After a slow start to the campaign and the return of lively coach, Miguel Herrera aka Piojo had many labelling América’s Apertura campaign as a ‘transitional’ phase. The opening day of the season saw them lose at home to Querétaro, but since then they have gone from strength to strength and currently find themselves second in the table. While nothing is ever guaranteed in Liga MX, Las Aguilas getting to the Liguilla is as close to a certainty. With five games left Herrera will hope to gain momentum to take his side into the knockout phase on the front foot.
Piojo has been a controversial character over the years with his aggressive approach, and this is an attribute he has insisted his side adopts. They currently have more tackles per game than any other team in the league, but this comes at a cost as they also head the red card and penalties against tables. Provided they can prevent adding to the latter tables they should have a good game against their bitter rivals. It would be easy to read this and think that América are a defensive side but this is not the case as they are only three goals behind the impressive attacking talents of current leaders Monterrey. The Mexico City side also like to run at their opponents and with the explosive acceleration of players like Carlos Darwin Quintero they always can draw the plaudits. Last time out they beat a well organised Cruz Azul side 1-3 away from home, demonstrating how efficient they have become as the weeks have gone by.
The positives in the capital about América could not be further from the feeling this season Chivas are currently creating for their fanbase. After winning the Clausura in May against the odds to the star-studded and in form Tigres side, they have only picked up one win. Failing to replace departures in the summer has seen a transformation for the worse. In the preseason coach, Matias Almeyda was toying with the idea of taking his expertise to La Liga in Spain, that will all feel like a distant memory now. If the next campaign was to start off as poorly, he might see himself relieved of his position.
Last season The Goats enjoyed a possession-based game that seen them dominate games and prevent their opponents from implementing their game plan. While they have attempted the same tactics this season, they have been caught in possession too often and then failed to win some duels that they should. This means they lost the ball too often and they can not get it back. This obviously will not win you games.
Starman and leading goalscorer Rodolfo Pizarro has been criticised for being dispossessed too often in the 12 matches so far, and while this can be down to sluggish behaviour on the ball, it must also be noted that the opponent know if he is stopped it is unlikely Chivas will score. Pizarro shall be suspended for the trip to the capital after slapping an opponent on the chest and receiving a straight red. Only Angel Zaldivar and Pizarro have scored more than one goal so far. Chivas have not won four matches and are currently nine points off the Liguilla spots. Qualifying looks unlikely, but if they are to challenge, then this game is a must win.
The El Super Clasico has been a fixture in Mexican football for over 74 years and while there have been occasions that the teams have been more closely matched this is not one to miss. The Estadio Azteca will be loud and atmospheric in anticipation of a home win. This would take América to 82 wins compared to Chivas’ 74. Any other result will be a surprise to everyone involved in Liga MX, but Almeyda won the Clausura when it was not expected, maybe he can produce another unexpected victory on Wednesday night.
Club América vs Guadalajara – Players to watch
Carlos Darwin Quintero #31 – Club América
I mentioned this man in previous previews, but it is hard to look past the Colombian with his dribbling ability and flair. He scored the opener against Cruz Azul after bursting into the box, and it can be expected to happen again against this poor Chivas side. He continues to have the best successful dribble rate in the league, has created more big chances than anyone else in his squad, has created four assists and scored two goals. There is little more the 30-year-old can do to demonstrate what a brilliant player he is and how important he is for his team.
Javier Lopez #10 – Chivas
The 1.65cm, 23-year-old, attacker has featured in all 12 of the league matches this campaign and arguably been their best performer along with Rodolfo Pizarro. His ability to run at opponents along with his vision has seen him create some of the side’s best chances. He also ranks as having the best rate of Key Passes amongst the squad by some way. If Chivas are to cause an upset, then they will be looking to Torreon born Lopez to create something unique especially as Pizarro shall be absent on this occasion.
Club América vs Guadalajara – Match Stats
- América have only lost once in their last five
- América currently sit in 2nd place
- América have gone four games without a clean sheet
- América have only won two of the last ten meeting with Chivas
- Chivas have only won once in the Apertura
- Chivas currently sit in 16th position
- Chivas only victory has been in an away match
- Chivas won the last time the two sides met in a Clausura (1-0)
- In a manager’s head to head, Herrera has W2, Almeyda W0 and D1
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Club América vs Guadalajara 3-0
Marchesin – Paul Aguilar, Pablo Aguilar, Valdez, Samudio – Ibarra, Guido, Uribe, Quintero – Romero, Peraltao
Coach: Miguel Herrera
Cota; Sanchez, Salcido, Alanis, Hernandez; Vazquez, Pineda, Chofis; Cisneros, Pulido, Zaldívar
Coach: Matias Almeyda
Bryce Dunn is a Northern Irish football writer and Podcaster. Bryce hosts the popular Bundesliga – Gegenpressing Podcast, which is the most in-depth English-speaking Bundesliga Podcast available and Golazo an English-speaking Podcast covering Mexico’s Liga MX on the Futbolgrad Network. He is an avid Liverpool FC supporter, who enjoys researching German and Mexican football clubs whether they are part of the elite or the lower divisions. Follow Bryce on Twitter @BryceDunn11.