It's been a rough season for soccer in Guadalajara.
Ahead of the Clasico Tapatio, the storylines are much more about the past and the future than the present. This will be Mexico and Atlas legend Rafa Marquez's final match on the field before he goes into the director's box, while Chivas are more focused on the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final on Wednesday.
That's more fun for fans in La Perla de Occidente to think about than the fact that neither of their clubs are going to make the playoffs.
Yet, it's always a special atmosphere when Chivas return to the Estadio Jalisco, where they played for 50 years before moving to the Estadio Chivas. Generally, it results in a neutral-ground feel with around a 50-50 split of fans in the historic venue.
|Game||Atlas vs. Chivas|
|Date||Friday, April 20|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Stream (US only)||fuboTV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
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Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Ustari, Fraga, Toselli, Hernandez|
|Defenders||Jimenez, Marquez, Barreiro, Aguirre, Reyes, Arreola, Calderon, Gonzalez, Monroy|
|Midfielders||Zaldivar, Robles, Vigon, Aboagye, Morrison, Avila, Ramirez, Gomez, Garnica, Nava, Soko|
Atlas comes into the home stretch largely fit with Clifford Aboagye and Leiton Jimenez back on the field for last week's win against Queretaro after missing time.
Potential starting XI: Hernandez; Govea, Barreiro, Jimenez, Calderon; Ortega, Marquez, Aboagye; Garnica, Caragilo, Cardona
|Goalkeepers||Cota, Jimenez, Rodriguez, Torres|
|Defenders||Alanis, Basulto, Galindo, Hernandez, Marin, Mayorga, Pereira, Salcido, Sanchez|
|Midfielders||Beltran, Brizuela, Cervantes, C. Cisneros, Lopez, Macías, Perez, Pineda, Pizarro, Sandoval, Torres|
|Forwards||Benitez, R. Cisneros, Godinez, Macias, Pulido|
Jesus Sanchez remains out with the knee injury the right back suffered last month.
More likely than injury or suspension to affect Chivas' approach is the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final next week. With four days between the games and a one-goal advantage in hand, he may include a few regulars but look for several changes.
Potential starting XI: Cota; Basulto, Galindo, Pereira, Mayorga; Macias, Beltran; Torres, Sandoval, Benitez; Macias
Betting & Match Odds
Atlas comes into the match as the favorite with dabblebet pricing a home win at 23/20. Chivas are at 11/5 with a draw going for 9/4.
Two teams in Mexico's bottom three don't usually garner this much attention, but fans in Guadalajara and all over the region always pay attention to the Clasico Tapatio.
While Chivas sit 16th with 15 points in the Clausura and Atlas are 17th with 14 points, both teams have been boosted lately. Atlas actually enters on a three-match undefeated streak and beat Queretaro last weekend. All points help with the team bracing for a fight against relegation in the Apertura and 2019 Clausura, and the chance to beat their crosstown rival to secure some positive momentum will be on the Zorros hope to seize on.
The task may be easier with Chivas focused on the CONCACAF Champions League final. With the second leg coming Wednesday, manager Matias Almeyda is expected to play a young, inexperienced team and save his top squad for the CCL.
Chivas' youth may be a stark contrast to Atlas, with 39-year-old Rafa Marquez set to play his final club match before taking a position in the boardroom with his childhood club.
Marquez has been around long enough to know his swan song won't be easy, even if Chivas aren't coming out with their best XI. It'll be worth watching what happens and how he goes out despite the disappointing showings from the two Guadalajara teams this season.