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Despite the fact that Chivas are once again having issues with regularly claiming much-needed wins, they do have a chance of at least gaining a draw this weekend.
Santos, for all of their building success in 2021, will be missing a key figure this Sunday that has arguably been their best player this season. The absence probably won’t be enough to suffer a serious loss and Santos manager Diego Almada will probably do plenty to keep his organized system but it should at least provide an avenue towards a potential point for Chivas.
This will be a fascinating battle and it’s tempting to pick the home side, but this has a draw written all over it. Pick the tie for Chivas vs Santos
|Chivas vs Santos Laguna Information
|Chivas vs Santos Laguna
|Estadio Akron (Guadalajara, Mexico)
|Sunday, April 4th at 6:00pm ET
|How to Watch
Due to the fact that both Chivas and Santos have serious questions lingering above their heads, it’s tough to think of whether one side truly has an advantage over the other.
Santos aren’t exactly the most threatening attacking team, and away from home, they so far have just two goals in five games. Most importantly, or unfortunately, if you ask Santos fans, an injury to star midfielder Fernando Gorriaran could also prove to be the devastating blow that knocks over Almada’s gameplan.
But what about Chivas? They’ve been in poor shape for most of the year, and despite their talented and promising squad, they have yet to hit the high marks that have been expected of them.
Ahead of Sunday evening’s match, let’s dive deeper into these issues that’ll likely have this game ending in an entertaining stalemate.
There is no overstating the significance of the Uruguayan for Santos. Sitting in the heart of the XI, the central midfielder with a tremendous amount of energy loves to score goals, creates assists, dishes out vital passes, and also provides defensive clearances and tackles.
He has done it all for Santos this season, and without the injured starter, there is now a massive open space that will be left for Chivas’ attack to run through.
In theory, this should also provide a path towards a win for Chivas, but after seeing what they have failed to accomplish in the final third, it’s tough to have full confidence about the group of players that only have one win in their last six Liga MX games.
Where to begin?
Manager Victor Manuel Vucetich plays far too conservative of a style, and during the second half of countless matches, he’s been caught making a long list of bizarre substitutions.
As for the players, there seems to be a lack of intensity, chemistry, and most notably, a lack of good finishing. Game after game, Chivas have failed to capitalize on the chances given and regularly have a difficult time when it comes to taking advantage of chances in the final third.
But what if Chivas’ players rediscover their form? It’s also important to note that six of their players could be incredibly motivated on Sunday after recently helping the Mexican national team qualify for the Olympics earlier this week.
That could be the exact morale boost that they need, but even if they’re firing on all cylinders, they still need to find a way past Santos’ gifted goalkeeper.
Perhaps only behind Necaxa’s Luis Malagon, no other young goalkeeper in Liga MX has gained more praise than Carlos Acevedo. Blessed with incredible reflexes, the 24-year-old loves to put on a show week in and week out for Los Guerreros.
Acevedo is no stranger to helping Santos scrape by with some necessary points, and even if Chivas are flying high, the goalkeeper should have no problem with shutting them out at home this weekend.
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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