Saturday brings the first meeting between Liga MX 'grandes', the name given to the four biggest clubs historically, this season.
Chivas secured a road draw against Toluca on Sunday afternoon thanks to a goal from Javier "La Chofis" Lopez.
Mexico City side Cruz Azul hosted Club Tijuana but could manage only a scoreless draw with Xolos in manager Pedro Caixinha's debut in charge of the club.
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|Game||Chivas vs Cruz Azul|
|Date||Saturday, January 13|
|Time||10:06 p.m. ET|
|Stream (US 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|
The biggest question in the roster is at center back, where Chivas dipped into their reserves in week one with Carlos Salcido leaving because of a family matter, Oswaldo Alanis locked in a contract dispute with the club and Jair Pereira nursing a knock.
Alanis apparently is eligible this week after being taken out of consideration for the squad because the dispute. Still, manager Matias Almeyda said he's a bit behind after missing so much of the preseason. Michael Perez is out with a knee injury. Angel Zaldivar is a long-term injury absence after suffering a left ankle injury.
Potential starting XI: Cota; Sanchez, Pereira, Marin, Hernandez; Pineda, Salcido; Lopez, Pizarro, Sandoval; Pulido
|Position||Cruz Azul players|
|Defenders||Roco, Dominguez, Velazquez, Flores, Aldreta, Maduena, J. Silva|
|Midfielders||F. Silva, Salas, Montoya, Rodriguez, Cota, Baca|
|Forwards||Cauteruccio, Fierro, Mena, Mendez, Zuniga|
Walter Montoya, who signed from Sevilla this winter, has secured his work visa and is eligible to face Chivas. This also could be the debut of Carlos "Gullit" Pena, who La Maquina brought back to Mexico on loan with Rangers. Pena had a poor stint with Chivas before returning to Club Leon and then joining Caixinha in Europe.
Edgar Mendez will be serving the second game of a six-match suspension for spitting at a player during Cruz Azul's Liguilla series against Club America.
Potential starting XI: Corona; Maduena, Velasquez, Dominguez, Aldrete; Baca, Pena; Mena, Montoya, Rodriguez; Mora
Two teams looking to grasp on to former glories meet at the Estadio Chivas on Saturday.
For Chivas, the glory doesn't seem so far away. They won the Clausura title last time around but failed to make the playoffs in the Apertura which followed.
Cruz Azul made the playoffs but was eliminated by Club America in the first round and has had a winter of transition after manager Paco Jemez left the club.
Former Santos Laguna boss Pedro Caixinha has taken over after a short, unsuccessful stint with Rangers. He's brought in Carlos Pena on loan from the Scottish club and also signed Walter Montoya from Sevilla. Both could make their debuts Saturday for La Maquina, although that may have to wait.
Either way, the Cruz Azul attack will be eager to get its first goal of the season and Chivas could provide an opportunity. There has been turmoil at the back where center back Oswaldo Alanis has been in a contract dispute with the club, Carlos Salcido missed Round 1 with a personal issue and Jair Pereira is coping with injuries.
Chivas also were uncharacteristically terrible at home last season, winning just once and drawing four times at the Estadio Chivas for seven points. Only Queretaro earned fewer home points.
A superb showing from Javier Lopez, who formerly was nicknamed "La Chofis", has manager Matias Almeyda hoping he'll make a name for himself aside from the goofy nickname, a play on the name Sofia.
He got off to a good start with a tidy finish against Toluca to help Chivas secure a road point in a 1-1 draw.
Lopez will need more help up top for Chivas to delight the home fans. Forward Alan Pulido saw little of the ball. A positive substitute appearance from winter signing Gael Sandoval could earn the former Santos Laguna player his debut start in Guadalajara.
Were it not for Chivas' strange struggles at home last season, they'd enter the contest as a heavy favorite. As it is, the game could go either way and may have a significant say in which grande returns to the top.