Get ready for the Clasico Tapatio, the oldest rivalry in Mexican soccer.
For over 100 years, Chivas and Atlas have fought for bragging rights of the city of Guadalajara. Although Atlas are currently sitting ahead in the Liga MX table, Chivas are the ones who not only have more momentum in recent weeks, but also have more Clasico Tapatio victories since 2018.
Chivas are gaining ground late into the 2021 Clausura season.
Chivas to Win (+230)
|Atlas vs Chivas Information|
|What||Atlas vs Chivas|
|Where||Estadio Jalisco (Guadalajara, Mexico)|
|When||Saturday, April 24th at 8:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||Univision, TUDN|
Are Chivas back?
It’s safe to believe so. Although their winning streak is only at a mere two-game stretch, it has been genuinely enjoyable to see them suddenly wake up and race up the league table in April.
Perhaps inspired by their poor position in the table, or by what seemed to be a looming exit for manager Victor Manuel Vucetich, the Liga MX giants are now living up to their high expectations (and salaries) with two wins, one draw and one loss in their last four games.
And luckily for them, they’ll be facing off against their crosstown rivals who are beginning to lose some steam.
Once looking like one of the teams to beat with their mid-season sprint, Atlas are now stagnant with a lack of goals and wins in the last few weeks.
Strikers Julio Furch and Milton Caraglio have yet to find their form, manager Diego Cocca is second-guessing his tactical setup, and in defense, they’ve shown some weaknesses with the six goals allowed in a couple of recent high-profile matches.
That being said, it has been a tough schedule since late March. Facing off against the likes of Cruz Azul and Leon in less than a month isn’t a walk in the park.
And yet, if they struggle against in-form teams like those, what are the odds they can turn things around against a Chivas side that are finally following through with exciting and attack-minded soccer?
It took far too long, but Chivas are now playing some of the best soccer in the Vucetich era. No longer hesitant or cautious — although those moments of caution are still occasionally there — Chivas have decided to be more proactive and dynamic in their last couple of games.
And it has worked beautifully.
Against Club Tijuana on April 17th, Chivas launched 23 shots in their 2-0 win. On Wednesday against a dark horse like Monterrey, Chivas once again were on the front foot and constantly outplayed the 2019 Apertura champions in a 2-1 away win.
A switch in personnel seems to have also made a difference as well. With Isaac Brizuela playing alongside Sergio Flores in the middle of a 4-2-3-1, Vucetich’s men suddenly became more threatening in the attack and the final third.
Since returning from Olympic qualifying duty with Mexico’s U24 national team, Alexis Vega has been on a tear with Chivas. As a playmaker and goalscorer who has found the back of the net in two consecutive games, the 23-year-old has been an absolute game-changer for Chivas’ frontline.
He’s gaining confidence, and after sinking the 90th-minute goal that secured three points for Chivas on Wednesday, Vega will be charging into the weekend with a boundless amount of self-belief.
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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