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Atlas will host Guadalajara at the Jalisco Stadium this Saturday. Guadalajara go into this tie as slight favorites.
Atlas have looked better than last season, but a playoff spot looks out of reach. They had one of their best performances of the season last week in a 4-0 rout of Puebla.
Guadalajara look like they’ve got their playoff spot wrapped up despite suffering a 4-2 loss to Club America in the last gameweek.
Pick: Draw. Both teams to score. (+187)
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This a tough game to call because Atlas are in good form and playing at home, but Guadalajara have been the better side this season. Atlas have also got an outside chance of entering the playoffs, and winning this game will go a long way to determining if they can go further in the competition. They’re four points off Cruz Azul, who have a game in hand, so the odds don’t look great.
On the other hand, Guadalajara are almost certainly entering the playoffs; only a disastrous collapse would stop them from entering the next stage. They’re on 21 points and in 7th place on the Liga MX table. They’ll tie Leon in second place for points if they win this match.
Both sides have something to play, which should make this a fascinating encounter. Guadalajara are clearly the better side, but they still lack a bit of conviction in their performances, and an away tie at the Jalisco Stadium won’t be an easy affair. This has all the makings of a draw.
Guadalajara got the better of Atlas on 14 occasions in their 27 meetings. Atlas have come out on top on just six occasions, which is a big factor heading into this tie. There have also been nine red cards in this tie, with Atlas receiving five and Guadalajara receiving four.
The last match between the two sides was a friendly back in December 2022, which Guadalajara won 1-0. Their last league meeting was in August 2022, which ended 1-1. Both sides had a man sent off in this tie, so it’s hard to use this tie as a reference point for the game on the weekend.
Atlas’s Luis Reyes was sent off in the ninth minute before Guadalajara’s Miguel Angel Ponce got his marching orders in the 38th minute. Julian Quinones put Atlas up in the 63rd minute against the run of play before Carlos Ernesto Cisneros leveled the scores in the 84th minute. Guadalajara were well worth their equalizer; they had 57% of the possession and took 23 shots on goal compared to Atlas’ eight.
Atlas put in their best performance of the Liga MX season over the weekend against Puebla. The match was essentially over in the first-half after Brian Lozana (5’) and Julian Quinones (16’) put Atlas 2-0 up within the first 16 minutes.
Gaston Silva made matters worse for Puebla by kicking the ball into his own net in the 51st minute, and Lozana got his second of the day in the 69th minute to make it 4-0. Puebla had 51% of the possession and took 14 shots to Atlas’ 11, but this doesn’t take into account the game state.
Atlas’ two-goal lead allowed them to take their foot off the gas. Atlas will be aware that they need to manage games a bit better, which isn’t something they’ve managed for most of the season, but it shouldn't take the shine off of their victory. It was Atlas’ best week in a long time as they beat Olimpa 4-0 in the CONCACAF Champions League as well three days before the match against Puebla.
Atlas’ two titles in succession from 2021 and 2022, and their drastic decline in last season’s Apertura season makes them a very difficult team to figure out. They aren’t as poor as last season, but they aren’t the force of two seasons ago, either.
The two 4-0 wins last week have revitalized the entire club. It’ll be fascinating to see if they can keep up the form against a strong Guadalajara side. They’re playing at home, which is a big advantage. They need to make it count. A win here will allow them to qualify for the playoffs. Once a team gets into the playoffs, anything goes.
It looked like the game was over in the 53rd minute after Henry Martin made it 4-0. Still, two goals in the 62nd and 72nd minute gave Guadalajara something to take back from an absurd tie. On the one hand, it is unacceptable to go down 4-0 within 53 minutes at home, but Guadalajara also looked like they would stage an improbable comeback 20 minutes later.
Guadalajara have been up and down all season. They show a lot of promise at times, which is why a win against Atlas took them to second place on the Liga MX table, but they’ve also conceded 13 goals this season, which isn’t ideal for a team with title ambitions.
Guadalajara made a horrific start to the game on the weekend. Jonathan Rodriquez scored twice to put Club America 2-0 up by the 38th minute, and Leonardo Suarez scored one in the 42nd minute to give the visitors a 3-0 lead before half-time. The second half was better, as stated earlier in this section, but even that was dampened by a late sending-off; Victor Guzman got his marching orders seven minutes into second-half stoppage time. Guadalajara must be far more consistent if they want to eat at the same table as Club America.
Guadalajara have got the better head-to-head record and are a lot higher on the Liga MX table, but they are a bit volatile. They can look like potential champions in some games and the worst team in the league in others.
Last week, they showed both sides in the same game. They’re facing an Atlas side who are brimming with confidence at the moment; this won’t be an easy game. Guadalajara have lost their last two matches in the league, and the last thing they want is to spiral out of control just before the playoffs.
Their playoff spot isn’t guaranteed either. They have a six-point lead over ninth-placed Santos Laguna currently but things can change very quickly in Liga MX. They have to be careful; a slip-up on the weekend could be very costly.
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Teams: Atlas vs Guadalajara
Location: Jalisco Stadium
Time: Saturday, April 1 at 8:10 pm ET onwards
How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo, and Fox Deportes
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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