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Although it’s too early in the 2021 Clausura to be recognizing long-term trends, some early patterns have started to form for certain teams within Liga MX.
Chivas haven’t been reaching many of their playoff-worthy expectations, and as for a minnow-like Juarez, they’ve remained surprisingly competitive in all three of their games so far this season. Juarez should once again complicate matters on Saturday. Despite the fact that Chivas will be the favorites, there are no guarantees that they’ll suddenly turn their questionable form around.
Both teams that have yet to earn a victory in 2021 should extend that streak for at least one more week.
|Chivas vs Juarez Information|
|What||Chivas vs Juarez|
|Where||Estadio Akron (Guadalajara, Mexico)|
|When||Saturday, January 30th at 8:00 PM ET|
|How to Watch||Telemundo|
They’re the underdogs, they have yet to gain a win this season, they’re traveling away to Guadalajara, but all that said, Juarez do still have a chance for a valuable draw this weekend.
Up against a Chivas roster that have been regularly shooting themselves in the foot in 2021, it’s not ridiculous to assume Juarez have a decent opportunity for at least one point. Juarez punched about their weight in their first two draws to start the Clausura, and were it not for a couple of defensive lapses and a debatable VAR intervention earlier this week, they could have earned more than a 2-0 loss to Club America.
Chivas themselves also had glimpses of something intriguing brewing in their two draws to start the year. Hoping that those moments were more than just some flashes in a pan, Chivas fans were then devastated to see what followed in their latest result, a 3-1 defeat by San Luis…
This isn’t as hyperbolic as it might sound. In the post-game press conference that followed the 3-1 defeat, Chivas manager Victor Manuel Vucetich recognized that “it was one of the worst games” that he had seen by his team since taking charge.
Los Rojiblancos lacked chance creation, they were poor defensively and completely disorganized throughout most of the 90 minutes. Worst of all, they were dominated by a team that had finished in last place last season.
The match should have been an easy win for Chivas, and if they allowed three goals from San Luis, there’s reason to question their confidence in the near future — especially against an upcoming opponent that could catch them by surprise.
Let’s quickly glance at Juarez’s games so far in 2021.
First, there was the 1-1 draw with Pachuca. Moments away from kicking off the Clausura with three points in a 1-0 win, Juarez were stunned when Pachuca’s Mauro Quiroga made it 1-1 in the 94th minute.
In the next week, Juarez ran into a brick wall as they held Club Tijuana scoreless but also couldn’t sneak anything past goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco. The ensuing 0-0 draw finished with an xG (expected goals) of 1.98 for Juarez and 0.14 for Tijuana.
Then, in their latest 2-0 loss to Club America, Juarez were left scratching their heads as they not only outplayed the Mexico City club but also had a goal removed through VAR — they also finished with a higher xG as well.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves about Juarez either. They’ll make things challenging for Chivas and fight to the very end, but it’s also a stretch to say that they could also get a win.
First and foremost, we can’t ignore the fact that they have only one goal so far this season and failed to find the back of the net in their last two matches. Regardless of the praise they should be receiving for improving defensively in the last couple of weeks, they’re also worthy of criticism for not creating enough chances in the final third.
Under the management of the practical Luis Fernando Tena, Juarez have done well to bolster their defense while also leaving much to be desired in the frontline.
Coupled with Chivas’ latest problems, expect this one to end in a low-scoring draw.
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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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