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This has a tie written all over it.
Chivas de Guadalajara are dwindling in their transitionary state and have tended to aim for cautious and pragmatic soccer.
As for Cruz Azul, their attack has been lifeless in recent weeks.
Both are on the cusp of potentially earning the minimum amount of points needed for a playoff invitation, meaning that we probably won’t see either team taking chances.
Either side might be happy with an equal scoreline here.
The draw for Chivas vs Cruz Azul (+195)
Mediocrity can take you quite far in Liga MX’s latest format.
With up to 12 of the 18 teams qualifying for the playoffs, the league which once prided itself on attack-minded soccer has now seen a decrease in goals.
Knowing full well that a fairly average record can get you a spot into the next round, one can’t really fault teams for sitting further back and not taking as many chances.
Last season, Puebla secured a playoff spot at 12th with 20 points.
This season, Cruz Azul are just one point behind that tally, while Chivas are two behind that 20 point total.
It’s tantalizingly close for either team and even if current title-holders Cruz Azul push for a win, their poor form in the final third doesn’t bode well for them.
Outside of Brayan Angulo and Santiago Gimenez, no Cruz Azul players have scored more than two goals this season.
And it’s not as if either of those two are racking up opportunities that are finding the back of the net.
Angulo hasn’t scored since September, and as for Gimenez, we would have to go back to August 29th to pinpoint his last goal for Cruz Azul.
Elsewhere, the team as a whole is struggling.
Cruz Azul have only scored three times in their last five goals in all competitions.
Does that mean Chivas have a chance to steal a win? Not exactly…
They were lackluster with Victor Manuel Vucetich in charge, and since his departure this summer, interim manager Marcelo Michel Leaño has done little to resolve things.
At the time of writing, Chivas’ xG tally of 14.24 ranks below the league average of 15.93.
Week in and week out, they rarely cause much threat with their possession and only have one win in their last six games.
Regardless, with a place in the playoffs nearly set, don’t expect much to change for Chivas’ efforts that rarely have the creativity needed to earn multiple goals.
What if Chivas do find a way to revitalize themselves?
After all, they are going to be playing at home this weekend and might be given a boost by those in attendance who are simply happy that Vucetich is no longer in charge.
Unfortunately for Chivas, Cruz Azul are actually quite decent in defense.
While manager Juan Reynoso should be criticized for Cruz Azul’s uninspired attack, in the backline, they’ve been solid with only 10 goals allowed.
In fact, the same argument could also be made for Chivas who have been problematic in the final third but impressive in defense.
Like Cruz Azul, they’ve also only allowed 10 goals all season.
In case you needed any other signs that this could be a low-scoring draw…
|Chivas de Guadalajara vs Cruz Azul Information
|Chivas de Guadalajara vs Cruz Azul
|Estadio AKRON (Guadalajara, Mexico)
|Saturday, October 23rd at 7:00pm PT/10:00pm ET
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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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