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It hasn’t been eye-catching or incredible, but there are few complaints about the start to the Liga MX season for Santos Laguna and Chivas de Guadalajara.
Santos are undefeated with one win and two draws, while Chivas have recently earned a win and a draw after initially kicking things off with a narrow defeat.
There’s room for improvement for both of the Mexican clubs, and heading into the weekend, Sunday’s match will be a perfect litmus test of where they are currently at in the 2021 Apertura.
With both tending to utilize a number of young players, there isn’t too much of a significant difference between the two — aside from Chivas’ rule of only signing Mexican players.
That said, a few noteworthy factors should be just enough to favor the home team this weekend.
|Santos Laguna vs Chivas de Guadalajara Information|
|Teams||Santos Laguna vs Chivas de Guadalajara|
|Location||Estadio Corona (Torreon, Mexico)|
|Time||Sunday, August 15th at 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
It’s far too early in the season to make a claim that this is a playoff preview, but we’ll stick with it.
As one of the most successful and popular clubs in North America — and arguably the most popular — Chivas have a long history of regular and expected playoff appearances.
Boosted by some of the top players in Mexico, Chivas are a powerhouse in the region that give chances to not only domestic players, but also developing ones.
It’s a fine balance to this approach, but nonetheless, it has led to the second-highest tally of Liga MX titles and plenty of promise in modern times as they head into a new season.
Santos may not have the Mexican-only rule for their roster, but they do tend to give opportunities to plenty of young players from within the country.
Coupled with smart transfers from abroad, they’ve made a name for themselves as a well-run yet exciting club that have won three league titles since 2012.
These two organizations are success stories within Liga MX, and looking towards the current tournament, success is exactly what will be expected as they attempt to steal the spotlight from other teams.
As mentioned earlier, Sunday will be a great test for either of these two.
But unfortunately for Chivas, they’ll be the ones who will have more of an uphill battle when you recognize the difficulty of playing away against their opposition.
In their last 40 Liga MX games at the Estadio Corona, Santos have only earned four losses.
It’s an incredible statistic and it speaks volumes about their confidence at home.
And although those four have arrived since 2020, the lack of fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic could be highlighted as to why they suddenly earned some losses.
Their supporters are back, and after missing most of the last year, they’ll be sure to hold onto Santos’ start to the season without a loss at the Estadio Corona.
There’s plenty of hype surrounding some of the returning players in Chivas’ roster.
Boosted by their bronze medals at the Olympic games, Chivas have recently seen the addition of Alexis Vega, Uriel Antuna, Jesus Ricardo Angulo and Fernando Beltran.
These are all starters for Chivas and will be expected to carry much of the team going forward, but as of this week, it might be a bit premature to expect them to make an instant impact.
Without much of a break from the summer, all four names didn’t have a real rest.
This means that although many Chivas fans understandably put their hopes on some of these options, there are no guarantees they’ll earn starts or be at 100% this weekend.
Very few players have outperformed Santos’ Diego Valdes so far this season.
Aside from his two goals, it has been breathtaking to watch his control of the midfield.
The Chilean has been commanding for Santos, and as a decisive playmaker and dribbler, he’ll be one to keep an eye on Sunday when he challenges Chivas’ midfield and backline.
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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