Could Chivas be in the midst of a late-season renaissance?
Matias Almeyda's side got off to a rough start in Liga MX but have now put together a seven-game unbeaten run in the league to leave the club just two points out of the eighth and final playoff position.
Though only two points back of eighth, Chivas are in 12th place, meaning they'll need to leapfrog four teams if they are to complete an improbable run to the Liguilla.
With struggling Veracruz visiting the Estadio Chivas on Saturday, a win is a must if Almeyda's men hope to reach the postseason.
|Game||Chivas vs. Veracruz|
|Date||Saturday, April 7|
|Time||10:06 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||Cota, Jimenez, Rodriguez, Torres|
|Defenders||Alanis, C. Cisneros, Galindo, Hernandez, Marin, Mayorga, Pereira, Salcido|
|Midfielders||Beltran, Brizuela, Cervantes, Lopez, Macías, Perez, Pineda, Pizarro, Sandoval, Torres|
|Forwards||Basulto, Benitez, R. Cisneros, Godinez, Macias, Pulido, Sanchez|
Jesus Sanchez and Hedgardo Marin look likely to miss out with knee injuries, while Javier "La Chofis" Lopez is a doubt with a hamstring injury. Almeyda also may play young players with the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second leg against the New York Red Bulls coming Tuesday.
Potential starting XI: Cota; Brizuela, Salcido, Alanis, Hernandez; Pineda, Macias; Torres, Pizarro, Sandoval; Macias
|Goalkeepers||Gallese, Cadeda, Hernandez, Garcia|
|Defenders||Milan, Ramos, Velazquez, Rivas, Cid, Mares, Rodriguez, Cancela, Vera, Murillo, Ruiz, Paganoni|
|Midfielders||Santos, Viniegra, Martinez, Cartagena, Chavez, Andrade, Lara, Santos, Albin, Luna, Esquivel|
|Forwards||Bravo, Menendez, Villalva, Murillo, Berola, Lopez|
Wilder Cartagena has returned to full fitness after an injury, but Miguel Cancela and Pedro Gallese are set to miss out for the Tiburones Rojos.
Potential starting XI: Hernandez; Ruiz, Milan, Rivas, Mares; Martinez, Cartagena; Esquivel, Luna, Villalva; Murillo
Betting & Match Odds
Chivas is the favorite to win the match with dabblebet pricing it at 4/6. Veracruz are rated 15/4 to get the road win and a draw is available at 13/5.
This could prove to be a pivotal week if Chivas are to salvage their season.
The Guadalajara side need three points at home against relegation-threatened Veracruz to keep their Liga MX playoff push alive on Saturday.
Three days later, they'll travel to New Jersey to take on the New York Red Bulls in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal.
With positive results in both of those games, Matias Almeyda's side could be heading for an improbable late-season turnaround that could include a playoff berth and a continental title.
Almeyda will have to manage Saturday's game carefully, knowing his side had a 1-0 win over the Red Bulls just four days prior and will face another quick turnaround before Tuesday's second leg.
Veracruz comes into Saturday's match at the bottom of the relegation table and 14th in the Clausura standings. The Tiburones Rojos did get a potentially massive win last weekend over Club Tijuana, however, as they aim to stay in Mexico's top division.
Guillermo Vazquez’s men could prove to be a touch match for Chivas, but the home side should still be expected to pick up the three points and keep their late-season surge going.