This weekend brings the Clasico Nacional, the matchup between Mexico's most successful (and most supported) clubs: Chivas and Club America.
Some of the luster on the game has dimmed with Chivas struggling in this tournament with a 1-4-4 record.
The Guadalajara side has, however, managed to get a draw in its last three league results and won both legs of a CONCACAF Champions League series with Dominican club Cibao.
Is it enough to pin the first defeat of the season on Liga MX leader America? Chivas have their work cut out for them this weekend.
|Game||Chivas vs. America|
|Date||Saturday, March 3|
|Time||10:06 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|
Jair Pereira traveled and was part of the Chivas squad to face Chivas last week but was rested during the week and remains a doubt after suffering injury in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League round of 16. Hedgardo Marin is still recovering from a knee injury.
Potential starting XI: Cota; Sanchez, Salcido, Alanis, Hernandez; Lopez, Perez, Pineda, Pizarro; Godinez, Pulido
|Position||Club America players|
|Goalkeepers||Marchesin, Pineda, Jimenez|
|Defenders||Vargas, Alvarez, Aguilera, Valdez, Aguilar, Cedillo|
|Midfielders||Rodriguez, Da Silva, Uribe, Dominguez, Corona, Arce, Orrantia, Ibarguen, Paredes, Ibarra, Lainez|
|Forwards||Romero, Menez, Marin, Diaz, Martin, Peralta, Quintero|
William Da Silva returned to America training Thursday after a hamstring issue kept him out of the CONCACAF Champions League match against Saprissa. Edson Alvarez is ill.
Jeremy Menez and Andres Ibarguen were involved in a training ground dust-up that may have manager Miguel Herrera thinking twice about putting his new additions in the same lineup.
Potential starting XI: Marchesin; Aguilar, Valdez, Aguilera, Vargas; Uribe, Rodriguez; Ibarra, Menez, Dominguez; Peralta
It's the Clasico Nacional, but this year Mexico's most important rivalry match feels like just another game. Sure, there have been the highlights of historical matchups and a few firey declarations in the press. Oribe Peralta's line about Chivas hoping to beat America to save their season doesn't seem venomous, though. It just seems true.
Chivas have only one win in nine matches and the league-cup double the club pulled off fewer than 12 months ago feels like it was a fluke. Now it's America in the driver's seat, coming into Saturday's match undefeated in league play at a stage when every other club has lost at least twice.
America has been winning thanks to strength up front, where Henry Martin broke out at the start of the season and Peralta is once again getting back into rhythm. They're joined by new signing Jeremy Menez and have gotten help from players like Mateus Uribe and Cecilio Dominguez when there have been lulls.
At the back, Las Aguilas also have been stern with Bruno Valdez and Emanuel Aguilera anchoring a unit that thus far has conceded only six goals.
Chivas have been able to score in some contests, though manager Matias Almeyda continues to look for a partner for Alan Pulido after the 4-2-3-1 formation stopped producing fruit without Pulido having help up top.
Of bigger concern to the manager is the team's lack of results in Jalisco. The last home league win came in October and the team is 1-6-3 in its last 10 Liga MX home games.