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Mar 28, 2014

Playoff positions at stake in Chivas vs America

As I’ve mentioned before in past posts, soccer games can at times be overhyped and glorified to ridiculous levels. Just watch any commercial for an upcoming match and you’ll get the idea. Overdubbed cannon sounds over free kicks with the perfect cut to a passionate fan at a sold-out game...for Puebla vs Queretaro.

The Sunday match between Chivas and America is no different when it comes to the promotion. It is, of course, El Super Clásico. You’ll find detailed analysis everywhere you look and more than likely an unfortunate focus on supporters groups from Guadalajara. However, the hype and buildup to the match is all justified. Both squads have plenty to prove this late in the season and both would love to indulge in some huge momentum that can be gained from the match.

America have slid down the standings faster than my college grades after the discovery of serious procrastination. Las Aguilas still sit in a playoff spot at seventh but are far from their winning ways of the recent past. Antonio Mohamed can’t seem to motivate the squad and the injury to Miguel Layun last month hasn’t exactly helped with morale. America have had just one win in their last seven matches and are in danger of possibly being out of a playoff spot if they lose to Chivas this Sunday. Layun is apparently healthy enough to return this weekend and will hopefully provide a nice boost to not only the defense, but attack as well.

Looking at their tenuous playoff spot, America’s last five matches of the Clasura will be crucial. After playing against Chivas, they will have two away matches against Puebla and Toluca, and two home matches against Cruz Azul and Queretaro. Considering their current form at home and the daunting task of playing against the first and second place teams in the league, America will be yearning for some much-need confidence after this weekend. A win against Chivas would be the perfect solution to their current woes and those of Mohamed as well.

Chivas on the other hand, have gradually made progress since last year but are still looking to reach the character it once had. They have recently done well with their organization in the back but are still in need of scoring. Seriously, they have only scored two goals once this season in a 2-1 win over Queretaro last month. Like the significant return of Layun for America, Omar Bravo will also return for Chivas and their worrisome attack. Bravo is the current top-scorer for Chivas with a meager three goals but will look to add to his tally against America.

Chivas’ last four games won’t be as difficult as America’s, but they still have to take on Pachuca and Pumas before the end of the season.

I’m probably going to be entirely wrong in the end, but Chivas’ lack of scoring intertwined with America’s lack of cohesion will lead to an entertaining but low-scoring match. There is no doubt that there will be a palpable amount of excitement from the fans and serious intensity from the squads, but I can only see a back and forth with a few lucky goals. Feel free to give me plenty of criticism if it ends 4-3.