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Chivas are a bit of a sleeping giant this season. Although they’ve outperformed their last two opponents, they’ve had to deal with two 1-1 in the start of the 2021 Clausura.
As for San Luis, they are currently in the middle of a five-game losing streak that began late last year. Despite the roster changes that were made over the winter, the Liga MX minnows have stumbled through a 2-1 loss to Club America and a 1-0 loss to Necaxa to kick-off 2021.
Chivas should be hungry for three points after nearly securing them in their last two games.
Chivas for the win this Thursday (+140)
|San Luis vs Chivas Information
|San Luis vs Chivas
|Estadio Alfonso Lastras (San Luis Potosi, Mexico)
|Thursday, January 21st at 10:00 PM ET
|How to Watch
Two weeks are now behind us in the Liga MX season, and sitting near the very bottom of the league table is a team that knows the position all too well: San Luis.
After the troubling exploits that had them finishing last during the recent 2020 Apertura tournament, San Luis hasn’t looked much different in the new year after earning two defeats to start 2021. Granted, a few roster changes have been made, but there has been little to support the idea that they’ll be making any serious improvements in the near future.
But what about Chivas? They’re only five spots ahead of San Luis in the league table and have yet to earn a win after shuffling through two draws so far in January. Can Liga MX fans, or Chivas fans for that matter, have much more hope in a team that has yet to collect three points?
In fact, they probably can. It has so far gone under the radar, but Chivas could eventually become one of the top Liga MX teams this season.
And the path towards that climb up the league table could begin taking shape as soon as this weekend.
I’m not trying to say that Chivas have been steamrolling teams and that they should have had big wins in recent weeks, but when watching their last two games, it has become obvious that there’s much to be excited about this roster.
Chivas out-shot and out-possessed their last two opponents who were lucky to steal a point apiece. Numerous chances have been created in the final third and were it not for a couple of moments that have gone against them, we could have easily been talking about a Chivas side that already have two wins to start the season.
That said, it would also be naive to ignore the reasons why they’ve earned two draws. While chasing the game-winners in each of those battles — especially against Toluca last week — Chivas appeared frustrated as they struggled to capitalize on chance after chance.
And yet, those chances are still being created, and if they can slightly improve on those opportunities, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be guaranteeing wins.
Apologies to any San Luis supporters, but things aren’t seeming to be much better in recent weeks.
Even with up to four new signings stepping onto the field last week against Necaxa, San Luis was only able to hit the target just twice over the full 90 minutes of the 1-0 loss. What was also even more embarrassing for them was the fact that they had a one-man advantage for nearly the entirety of the 2nd half after Necaxa’s Fernando Arce was shown a red in the 48th minute.
A missed penalty for San Luis by Pablo Barrera in the 97th minute, which sailed over the crossbar, was also emblematic of a squad that couldn’t even secure one point (or one goal) when the opportunity had been gifted to them.
It’s going to be a long season for San Luis, and even if a few of their new names start to step up, it’ll probably take at least a couple more weeks of training before they all find their form.
Credit must be given to Miguel Ponce. Often seen as an aging veteran who is better suited for a spot on the bench, there has been much to like about the 31-year-old defender in 2021.
Aggressive going forward and also crucial with his interceptions, the left-back has arguably been Chivas’ top player in the start to the season. In the latest draw with Toluca, Ponce was near-perfect with his distribution and almost had an assist or two.
We saw a similar style of play in the previous match against Puebla, and most importantly, he also scored their lone goal in the 47th minute of the season-opener in early January.
Ponce’s ceiling isn’t going to get much higher than where it’s currently at, but nonetheless, there’s plenty to like about the California-born player whose batteries now seem fully charged after the winter break.
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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