America aim for first home regular-season win vs. Chivas in four years
Club America will look to strengthen its chances of securing a spot in the Liguilla on Wednesday when it hosts rival Chivas Guadalajara at Estadio Azteca in the 228th edition of the Clasico Nacional.
The game was originally scheduled to be played on Sept. 23 but was rescheduled after an earthquake hit Mexico City on Sept. 19, killing hundreds and destroying parts of the city and its surroundings. America has announced all proceeds from ticket sales of the game will be donated to those affected.
Currently second in the Liga MX standings with 23 points, America is 9-2-2 in its last 13 games after starting the season with just one win in its first four games in all competitions. Guadalajara, meanwhile, has lost its last three games -- its first three-game losing streak in a single Liga MX season since October 2014 -- and enters the Clasico Nacional with just nine points.
America's 14-point lead over Guadalajara in the standings is its largest through 12 games in the last six seasons. Guadalajara's one Liga MX win is also the fewest by a defending champion through 12 games of a season in the playoff era (since 1970-71).
With five games left, America has a greater than 99 percent chance of reaching the playoffs, according to ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI). Guadalajara, the first defending champion in the playoff era with one win through 12 games of a season, currently has a less than 1 percent chance of advancing.
If that projection holds true, it would be the first time Guadalajara would miss the playoffs in four full seasons under coach Matias Almeyda.
America enters Wednesday with the all-time advantage in the Clasico Nacional, having won 81 of the previous 227 games in all competitions (with 72 draws), but the teams have each won 20 of the 54 meetings since the current tournament format began after the 1995-96 season.
Guadalajara has won three of the last four regular-season derbies in Liga MX and, with a victory, would win the Clasico Nacional on consecutive occasions for the first time in the league, including playoffs, since 2011.
Oribe Peralta, the America forward, has scored three goals against Guadalajara in Liga MX since joining the club in 2014-15. He has scored six goals in his last six league rivalry games, including the Clasico Joven against Cruz Azul and the Clasico Capitalino against Pumas.
Miguel Herrera, in his second term as America's coach, has won three of four games against Guadalajara, with the only loss in the 2012 Apertura. He has won eight and lost 13 of his 27 games in Liga MX against Guadalajara, with five victories in his last seven games as coach of America and Tijuana.
Rodolfo Pizarro, the Guadalajara midfielder, will not play against America because of a suspension. He has scored a team-high nine goals in Liga MX since joining the club last season.
The game will mark the seventh time under the current tournament format that one of the teams has entered the Clasico Nacional as the defending champion. Guadalajara, which has 12 titles, has lost both previous occasions -- Invierno 1997 and Clausura 2007.
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