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Following an exciting return to Liga MX play, Week 13 of the 2021 Apertura season will come to a close with a match between Chivas de Guadalajara and Toluca.
Toluca, once one of the more dominant teams of the tournament, have slipped up in their last few games. With a tough schedule against some daunting opponents, they’ve gone without a win in their last three games of the Apertura.
Now well-rested after the international window, they’ll have a fantastic opportunity to bounce back when encountering a Chivas side that won’t be at 100%. Chivas are in the middle of a transition after the departure of a former manager and coupled with some injuries and absences, they’ll be a weakened side.
Although they’ll host Sunday’s game, it’s difficult to think that they’ll secure three points.
Pick Toluca for the win (+235)
It has been a difficult 2021 for Chivas. After being knocked out of the wildcard round of the 2021 Clausura, Chivas are now looking like a team that’ll be lucky to just get into the playoffs this season. Former manager Victor Manuel Vucetich was eventually dropped by September, and since then, interim head coach Marcelo Michel Leaño has yet to clinch a victory.
Morale is incredibly low for the team that often looks second-best on the pitch. Week in and week out, it’s difficult to pinpoint a clear and proactive approach from the squad. And to make things even more arduous, at least a couple of key players will be absent on Sunday.
Where to begin with Chivas’ potential absences? Due to two reds earned in their loss to Atlas in Week 12, Chivas will not be able to utilize Cristian Calderon or Hiram Mier. Elsewhere, Uriel Antuna and Alexis Vega were involved with Mexico’s national team in the latest October round of World Cup qualifiers.
And at time of writing before the start of the weekend, there are no reports regarding the severity of Vega’s injury suffered during the final match of the international window against El Salvador.
Already struggling in a transitionary period, this isn’t good news for Chivas.
After a mesmerizing start to the Apertura, Toluca have taken a few steps back in their latest matches. They’re currently in the middle of a three-game winless streak that includes two losses. Nonetheless, Toluca remains a dark horse this Liga MX season.
In fact, from those three aforementioned games, Toluca out-shot and out-possessed their opponents that we’re able to hold them back. There’s a bit of bad luck here for Toluca, and considering that they also had to face playoff-worthy teams like Monterrey and San Luis, they can be forgiven for slight mistakes.
He may be 37 years old, but there are few players — if any — who are able to take charge in Liga MX like Rubens Sambueza. Blessed with creativity, drive, and an eye for finding open spaces, the Argentine midfielder regularly puts on a show most weekends in Mexico’s top flight.
Like Toluca, he has quieted down in recent weeks, but with four goals and five assists in 12 appearances, it’s only a matter of time before he finds his form once again. After a rest through the international break, “Sambu” will be ready to make his mark for Toluca.
|Chivas de Guadalajara vs Toluca Information|
|Teams||Chivas de Guadalajara vs Toluca|
|Location||Estadio AKRON (Guadalajara, Mexico)|
|Time||Saturday, October 16th at 7:00pm PT/10:00pm ET|
|How to Watch||Telemundo|
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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