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|Chivas de Guadalajara||-126
|Atletico San Luis||+350
Liga MX giants Chivas de Guadalajara will kick off their 2021 Apertura campaign with a match at home this weekend against Atletico San Luis.
Chivas, who were knocked out of the wildcard round of the playoffs last season, will look to gain a good start to Apertura after a fairly unexciting first half of the year.
Fans have become impatient and many have called for a change in management or more reinforcements to their roster.
It’s up in the air if serious progress will be made, but the good news is that they are about to take on one of the worst teams in the competition.
If promotion and relegation wasn’t removed ahead of Liga MX’s 2020-21, San Luis would currently be playing in the Mexican 2nd division.
And as of late, there has been no indication since the summer that much has changed for San Luis.
Odds provided by William Hill
|Chivas de Guadalajara vs Atletico San Luis Information|
|Teams||Chivas de Guadalajara vs Atletico San Luis|
|Location||Estadio Akron (Guadalajara, Mexico)|
|Time||Saturday, July 24th at 10:00pm ET|
|How to Watch||Telemundo|
Here’s a brief recap of how the previous 2021 Clausura tournament went for both sides.
For Chivas, they had the classic symptoms of a mid-table team. They did well defensively but underperformed in the attack, and in far too many games, they let wins slip away.
Chivas collected the necessary points to finish in 9th and book a spot into the playoff’s wildcard round, but had the misfortune of facing an in-form Pachuca that pummeled them in a 4-2 defeat.
While making it into the playoff conversation alone would be a success for other clubs, that isn’t exactly the case for one of the country’s most successful teams.
All that said, an easy win will nonetheless be expected of them this weekend against San Luis.
Sitting in second-to-last place last season, San Luis were defensively fragile week in and week out throughout the Clausura.
As mentioned earlier, were it not for the temporary suspension of promotion and relegation, they also would have been dropped by the 1st division.
The team remains a mess and should be a weak opponent for Chivas.
Through Liga MX’s last two seasons, no team has allowed more goals than San Luis.
After finishing in dead last at 18th place during the 2020 Apertura, they made gradual improvements, if any, during the recent 2021 Clausura at 17th.
Their attack wasn’t much better either.
Only four other teams scored fewer goals in the last two tournaments, and if we’re looking at xG (expected goals), their tally would be the second-worst in Liga MX.
They’ve also taken a gamble over the last couple months through a massive roster rehaul that has created more questions than answers.
In spite of some worries about marquee U24 names being involved in the Olympics during the start of the season, Chivas have plenty of young stars that could take the lead.
20-year-old striker/winger Cesar Huerta should be set for a more important role after initially emerging as a backup in early 2021.
With excellent speed and dribbling, Huerta has the talents to become one of the breakout players of the season.
Both 21, midfielder Eduardo “Lalo” Torres and defender Luis Olivas have an exciting amount of potential that could help garner significant minutes this weekend.
Elsewhere, Jesus Godiñez, Ronaldo Cisneros, Cristian Calderon and Alejandro Mayorga are all set for key roles.
It’s something he has been criticized heavily for, but manager Victor Manuel Vuceitch’s approach was enough to have Chivas earn a place in the wildcard round of the playoffs last season.
Often going for a more cautious and organized style of play, Chivas have been reliably solid in defense through Vucetich’s influence.
When needed, they were able to tighten up their defense and only allowed three goals in their final six regular season games from the previous Clausura tournament.
Which isn’t to say that Vucetich will park the bus this weekend.
With the confidence that his backline will stay composed, Chivas will expect to control the ball and dictate the pace of the game against San Luis.
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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