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After failing to win a record-equaling 13th Liga MX title in the previous Clausura season, Chivas Guadalajara made a very positive start to the 2023 Apertura season. The campaign kicked off with three wins on the bounce against Club Leon, Atletico de San Luis, and Necaxa.
The break may have come at the wrong time for Chivas Guadalajara as they exited the 2023 Leagues Cup after facing two back-to-back defeats in the group stage. Their league season resumed with a draw against FC Juarez. Chivas Guadalajara nabbed another win against Tijuana to extend their unbeaten streak to five games before losing their first match of the season against Santos Laguna.
Like their next opponents, CF Monterrey also made a good start in the league this season. The club started slow and shared the points with San Luis in the opener before bagging two wins on the bounce against Atlas FC and Mazatlan FC before the break. Unlike Chivas Guadalajara, CF Monterrey’s 2023 Leagues Cup campaign was quite stellar.
They were the last Mexican club standing in the latter stages of the tournament and ended up finishing fourth-best. However, since resuming the Apertura season, a concerning slump has engulfed the five-time Liga MX champions and forced them to lose back-to-back games against Cruz Azul and Toluca.
Both clubs are wounded giants and licking their wounds as they come into this fixture and both are desperate to clinch three points. The two strong squads are expected to cancel each other out and share the points when the match is over.
There is a lot of history between these two sides and since 2010, the two clubs have met each other 26 times in Liga MX. Chivas Guadalajara have a slightly better record in this fixture after winning 12 games. CF Monterrey have won ten, and four games have ended in draws.
Only a single goal separated the two giants when they last clashed in the 2023 Clausura season at the Estadio BBVA. Alexis Vega scored that goal in the 47th minute for Chivas Guadalajara. German Berterame was expected to restore parity but missed his penalty in the 87th minute.
Chivas Guadalajara snatched a 1-0 win in the 2022 Apertura season as well. An 80th-minute goal from Santiago Ormeno secured all three points for the 12-time Liga MX champions at the Estadio Akron.
CF Monterrey’s last win at the Estadio Akron came in the 2022 Clausura season. An Angel Zaldivar penalty put the hosts in front after 38 minutes. Just before the break, Jesus Gallardo scored the equalizer. Sebastian Vegas and Arturo Gonzalez struck in the second half as CF Monterrey won 3-1.
At the end of the last Clausura season, Chivas Guadalajara came extremely close to winning the league title and equalling Club America’s record for most Liga MX titles in history. However, Tigres UANL stalled the 12-time champions in the final.
This season, Chivas Guadalajara have not taken their foot off the pedal. The club recently lost their first game of the season but are expected to bounce back and compete for the title once again to match the record that is currently held by their arch-rivals.
The task will be anything but a cakewalk and several major hurdles will be in the path of Chivas Guadalajara in this Apertura season. Facing CF Monterrey will be one of the biggest hurdles for them this season and that is why the hosts will be desperate for a win.
In three Liga MX appearances this season, Alexis Vega has scored once. In the Clausura season, the winger nabbed three goals and three assists in eight games. The 25-year-old scored in this fixture in the last encounter during the Clausura 2023 season.
The winger would have aimed to do the same this time around but unfortunately, Vega will be unavailable in the match against CF Monterrey because he was sent off in the last game against Santos Laguna. This will leave a massive void on Chivas Guadalajara’s left flank.
During the league phase of the Clausura 2023 season, Chivas Guadalajara lost just two out of the eight games they played at home. This season, they have played three at the Estadio Akron and won all three games.
They beat San Luis and Necaxa before the break and defeated Tijuana in the first home game after the break. At home, Chivas Guadalajara are scoring at an average of two goals per game and have conceded just one goal in three.
After starting the new season with a draw, CF Monterrey nabbed seven successive wins across all competitions to gain much-needed momentum that could have set the tone for the rest of the season. They even beat defending MLS champions Los Angeles FC during this stint.
However, right after that, Nashville SC eliminated CF Monterrey from the 2023 Leagues Cup in the semifinals. Since then, the club has been on a shocking four-game losing streak across all competitions.
They bid adieu to the Leagues Cup with a loss in the third-place encounter against Philadelphia Union. CF Monterrey resumed their domestic league campaign with a loss against Cruz Azul at home and then lost again in the last game against Toluca on the road.
In five games this season, CF Monterrey have scored just six goals. To make matters worse, the visitors will be without their key striker German Berterame till October. The 24-year-old was sidelined in mid-August due to a foot injury.
In the last match, 19-year-old Ali Avila started his first-ever Liga MX game for CF Monterrey and it was against Toluca. The youngster had the fewest touches of any outfield player on the pitch. It will be interesting to see who coach Fernando Ortiz picks for that role in this match.
As the goals dry up for CF Monterrey, Ortiz will look at his midfield to provide creativity and even the decisive touch in the final third. The coach could push Sergio Canales up front as the sole striker and bring Joao Rojas into the starting lineup.
The midfielder has made five league appearances for CF Monterrey this season and all of them have come from the bench. Despite that, Rojas is currently the leading scorer for the team with two goals. This statistic might force Ortiz to include the Ecuadorian in the starting eleven.
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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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