Two teams with bittersweet 2017s continue their quest to start 2018 right when Monterrey visits Chivas.
Chivas won a pair of titles in the Clausura but failed to make the Liguilla in the following tournament.
As Chivas struggled, Monterrey dominated the Apertura and topped the regular-season table but eventually fell to rival Tigres in the final.
|Game||Chivas vs Monterrey|
|Date||Saturday, January 27|
|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|
Alan Pulido left Chivas' win over Necaxa at halftime with a knock but returned to training this week. Midfielder Michael Perez also was back in training this week after missing the last two matches with a knee injury.
Oswaldo Alanis made the bench last week and could be set to make his season debut after a contract dispute kept him out of preseason training. Center back Jair Pereira will miss the match with injury.
Potential starting XI: Cota; Sanchez, Salcido, Alanis, Hernandez; Pineda, Perez; Lopez, Pizarro, Cisneros; Pulido
|Goalkeepers||Gonzalez, Carrizo, Resendez|
|Defenders||Montes, Basanta, Sanchez, Portales, Vasquez, Alvarez, Vangioni, Velarde, Medina, Juarez|
|Midfielders||Molina, Ortiz, Zavala, J. Gonzalez, Amaya, Sanchez, A. Gonzalez, Urretaviscaya, Hurtado|
|Forwards||Funes Mori, Pabon, Benitez, Villa, Cruz|
Last week, manager Antonio Mohamed elected to play Alfonso Gonzalez in midfield and left Carlos Sanchez out of the squad. The Uruguayan returned in a midweek cup victory and could slot back into the starting XI.
Potential starting XI: Gonzalez; Medina, Montes, Basanta, Vangioni; Sanchez, Gonzalez, Ortiz; Pabon, Funes Mori, Hurtado
Monterrey enters Satuday's match still undefeated but was hoping to have more than the five points it currently has.
Rayados should've come away from last weekend's match against Tijuana with all three points but an Aviles Hurtado penalty miss meant settling for a point in a scoreless draw.
There was a bit of relief during the week as Antonio Mohamed watch his side score three first-half goals in a Copa MX romp over Correcaminos.
That match saw Carlos Sanchez return after not featuring in the draw with Tijuana. The Uruguayan could push his way back into Mohamed's XI this weekend, likely pushing Alfredo Gonzalez to the bench.
Chivas had an excellent week, topping Necaxa 3-1 even without key players like injured Michael Perez and with forward Alan Pulido being substituted out at the halftime break because of an injury.
Ronaldo Cisneros, the 21-year-old forward acquired from Santos Laguna this winter, scored in his Chivas debut but manager Matias Almeyda urged caution with the young forward this week. The manager may drop him back to the bench with midfielder Michael Perez set to return from a knee injury.
That could allow Rodolfo Pizarro to return to his central attacking position with Carlos Cisneros and Javier Lopez on the wings after both players' excellent starts to the campaign.
Most teams would be eager to return home, but it's hard to imagine Almeyda taking much relief in a home contest. Chivas have won just one of their last 10 home league matches, finishing last tournament with a 1-4-4 record at the Estadio Chivas and starting off this year's home slate with a 3-1 loss to Cruz Azul.
Between Chivas' struggles at home and Rayados still trying to get the taste of finals defeat out of their mouth, Saturday's contest could have an intensity rare for January. Expect several goals and a huge motivational boost for the team that comes out on top - if there is a winner.