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While the argument could be made that both sides are a work in progress, the odds are in favor of a Chivas squad with more talent and depth in their roster. With plenty to prove — especially with a new manager at the helm — there should be a number of motivated players for Guadalajara.
Both clinching 2-0 wins in their recent games, Chivas and San Luis have each earned three much-needed points in the early stages of the 2020 Apertura season.
For Chivas, there were signs of real progress and growth after the firing of manager Luis Fernando Tena, who was widely questioned by fans for his pragmatic approach to games. In a new era without Tena on the sidelines, the Liga MX giants were threatening in the attack during Wednesday night’s 2-0 away win over Juarez. With a return of key players, Chivas’ roster looked like one that is capable of becoming one of the top clubs in the league.
San Luis are also on the up and up. In their own 2-0 win over Xolos on Wednesday, San Luis pounced on key opportunities and capitalized on their rare moments of possession that provided two crucial goals. Coupled with their previous draw that has now placed four points in their hands from the last two matches, San Luis have continued their gradual progression up the league table.
But do they have enough in them to beat a Chivas squad that are ready to steal headlines and the spotlight in the near future?
Beleaguered with positive COVID-19 tests that had numerous players miss out on matches in the last few weeks, Chivas now appear set to have a full and healthy set of players this weekend.
Outside of winger/striker Alexis Vega who earned a red on Wednesday, Guadalajara should be able to count on key players that were initially slated to help make the squad one of the best in Liga MX.
Of those returning, Fernando Beltran is arguably the most important. As the glue in the midfield, the 22-year-old is one the most vital figures as a clever distributor of the ball. Given time to roam, Beltran could easily thread and create plays that would destroy San Luis’ backline.
There’s a reason why they call Vucetich “King Midas.” Nearly everything he touches in Liga MX turns into futbol gold.
With a storied career that includes Liga MX silverware, CONCACAF Champions League titles, Copa MX trophies and a handful of “manager of the season” awards, few coaches in the Mexican soccer scene have more respect or plaudits than the 65-year-old.
Up next for him is a salvation project for a Chivas team that struggled in recent days with Tena. Set to take charge of his first match this weekend against San Luis, expect a number of players to step up and try to make a name for themselves for a manager that has consistently demanded the respect of his squad.
On paper, there isn’t much excitement when soccer media and fans glance over at San Luis.
Although they are mostly funded by Atletico Madrid ownership, their roster is one that is fairly average at best in comparison to other Liga MX rivals.
That said, this is also still a team that has only lost once in the first four matches of the season. Against Xolos on Wednesday, San Luis highlighted their ability to capitalize on their limited possession that led them to a 2-0 win.
They might not play pretty soccer or have a squad filled with countless marquee names, but they’ve gotten the job done for most of the matches so far. After beating Xolos on Wednesday, they’ll have more confidence as well.
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.
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C.D. Guadalajara, Liga MX, Atlético San Luis, Luis Fernando Tena, Copa MX, Akron Stadium, Víctor Manuel Vucetich
World news – US – Chivas Guadalajara vs Atletico San Luis Prediction, Odds & Picks