It's been a different story this season for Chivas and Tigres.
After shaking off a title-winning hangover, Tigres have shown their quality in league play. Ricardo Ferretti's men have won their past four Liga MX matches and sit fourth in the table.
Chivas have won just twice in league play this season after last week's 1-0 victory over Lobos BUAP. But they're feeling good after thrashing the Seattle Sounders in CONCACAF Champions League play to move on to the semifinals while Tigres were frustrated by their elimination by Toronto FC earlier this week. Now the teams will face off, looking to keep the momentum up as the Liguilla draws closer.
|Game||Chivas vs. Tigres|
|Date||Saturday, March 17|
|Time||11:06 p.m. ET|
|Stream (U.S. only)||fuboTV (7-day free trial)|
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SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Rodriguez, Cota, Jimenez|
|Defenders||Alanis, Slacido, Pereira, Marin, Hernandez, Sanchez, Basulto|
|Midfielders||Pineda, Lopez, Sandoval, Benitez, Pizarro, Perez, Cervantes, O. Macias|
|Forwards||Pulido, Brizuela, Zaldivar, C. Cisneros, R. Cisneros, J. Macias|
Jesus Sanchez's torn meniscus, suffered against Club America, will have him out for the remainder of the tournament. Hedgardo Marin remains out because of a knee issue. Chivas manager Matias Almeyda went with a 3-4-3 against the Seattle Sounders in the CONCACAF Champions League and may roll out the same formation Saturday. Alan Pulido has a right ankle injury keeping him out.
Potential starting XI: Cota; Salcido, Alanis, Hernandez; Cisneros, Perez, Pineda, Brizuela; Pizarro, Macias, Lopez
|Goalkeepers||Guzman, Fernandez, Ortega|
|Defenders||Kolodziejczak, Ayala, Juninho, Meza, Torres Nilo, Acosta, Jimenez, Estrada, Rodriguez|
|Midfielders||Carioca, Duenas, J. Torres, Vasquez, R. Torres, Zelarayan, Aquino, Alvarez, Sosa, Damm|
|Forwards||Valencia, Gignac, Vargas|
Luis "Chaka" Rodriguez and Jorge Ivan Estrada worked out apart from the group in training sessions this week and will not be available. Andre-Pierre Gignac did not travel because of knee inflammation.
Potential starting XI: Guzman; Acosta, Ayala, Juninho, Torres Nilo; Zelarayan, Carioca, Aquino; Sosa, Valencia, Vargas
There's still hope for Chivas' season. That's what we learned last week.
Most of it is because of the CONCACAF Champions League, a tournament in which Chivas advanced to the semifinals thanks to a 3-0 win over Seattle earlier this week. There's also outside hope that the Guadalajara side will be able to turn things around so much that it will find itself in the Liguilla.
To do that, results are needed quickly, and having Tigres visit may not be what manager Matias Almeyda wants to see. Sure, Tigres are coming off a frustrating elimination from the CCL at the hands of Toronto FC, ending their dream of lifting an international title at the quarterfinal stage. But they've also won their last four Liga MX matches and are undefeated in their last six league games.
Chivas will have to stop Tigres without right back Jesus Sanchez, whose knee injury in the Clasico Nacional two weeks ago is forcing Almeyda to get creative with his lineups. Last week in league play he tried a five-man back line with two midfielders playing on the right side of defense before using a three-man back line for much of the game against Seattle.
Tuca Ferretti, his counterpart Saturday, also has alternated between a three-man defense and his traditional back four. Despite an injury to his starting right back, Luis "Chaka" Rodriguez, as well, Tigres have been able to use Israel Jimenez at the position and not see much of a drop in quality.
The attack, for all its talent and big names, has scored in spurts, Eduardo Vargas and Enner Valencia start the match could be critical to seeing how this one will go with Andre-Pierre Gignac not making the trip because of knee inflammation.
The wild card, as it seems to always be for Chivas, is the home stadium where they've won just one league match in their last 10 at the Estadio Chivas. Almeyda and the club's fans are hoping the CCL victory there during the week will snap the club out of its funk in front of its own supporters.