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There is very little that will separate Pachuca and Chivas when they face off in the playoffs this Liga MX weekend.
After initially having a number of problems throughout the 2021 Clausura, both have turned their fortunes around and finished the regular season on a high note.
There’s much to like and highlight from either side, but in the end, it’ll be the individual efforts from Chivas’ star players that narrowly guide them into the next round of the playoffs.
This’ll be a close battle, but considering the odds, aim for the visitors who have just as much of a chance.
Chivas for the win this Sunday ( +230)
|Pachuca vs Chivas Information|
|Teams||Pachuca vs Chivas|
|Location||Estadio Hidalgo (Pachuca, Mexico)|
|Time||Sunday, May 9th at 10:00pm ET|
|How to Watch||TUDN|
This might be one of the closest playoff series of the Liga MX weekend.
With the same amount of points and separated by only goal differential, both Chivas and Pachuca have a number of similarities from the first half of 2021.
Both have resolved some early complications, both of their managers have escaped from what could have been March/April firings, and in recent weeks, both have had an incredible finish to the regular season.
And yet, if we’re looking at small margins here, Chivas fans do have a reason to feel confident.
When nitpicking what could determine Sunday’s result, Chivas have a couple of factors that may work in their favor against Pachuca.
It’s a team sport, but you need individuals to step up and carry squads when the going gets tough.
We’ve seen it time and time again across all leagues, and when looking at both Chivas and Pachuca, Chivas are the ones who are slightly more likely to have a couple more players that could carry their team if needed.
Chivas players like Jose Juan Macias, Alexis Vega, Uriel Antuna, and Jose Ricardo Angulo are all figures that could easily become focal points of the next generation of the Mexican national team.
They proved it during Olympic qualifying earlier this year for the U23 team, and regardless of the argument that most of these names have yet to prove it on a consistent level for Chivas, the potential is still there.
And in a game of margins, having options like these could be enough to help Chivas get past the finish line this weekend.
There is a lot of room for improvement for Pachuca at home. While other Liga MX teams will have a significant advantage on familiar ground, for Pachuca, it’s not exactly a guarantee that they’ll thrive.
From their eight home games in 2021, they’ve only claimed 11 points through three wins, three losses, and two draws.
Goalscoring has also been dismal during those eight games, with only seven opportunities finding the back of the net.
Will Pachuca somehow become more formidable by this weekend? Or, will they once again fail to fully take advantage of the benefit of playing on their familiar ground?
If we’re nitpicking once again, which might be necessary in a close series, it must be noted that Chivas have the better roster.
Man-for-man and on any given day, Chivas’ squad will more than likely be able to get a victory over a team like Pachuca’s. Representation alone in the Mexican national team also tells this story.
The problem of course has been getting dependable Liga MX performances from these Chivas players week in and week out.
And although that has been an issue, since mid-April, many have started to look rejuvenated.
Whether it be due to no longer having to deal with Olympic qualifying, or simply recognizing the need to earn Liga MX points, many high-profile Chivas players have started to thrive in recent weeks.
With that in mind, this should be the difference-maker up against Pachuca.
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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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