On Saturday evening, the latest chapter in Mexican football’s biggest rivalry will be written when Club America host Chivas in the Estadio Azteca. The two most successful sides will do battle once again but this latest installment of the Súper Clásico comes at a time when the contrast in fortunes of the two clubs could not be starker.
While Club America, off the back of a Clausura championship, look odds on to win back-to-back titles and in the process break a few records, Chivas face a relegation dog-fight and have only 1 win this season. The disparity between the clubs has never been greater so what does the Súper Clásico have in store this Saturday?
The Súper Clásico is not only fierce in its rivalry but is also incredibly competitive throughout the years that Mexico’s two biggest sides have competed with each other. Both sides have 11 league titles in the Professional era and even head-to-head, Club America have only one more win in 174 Súper Clásicos. All this makes the match on Saturday evening all the more interesting as it is rare occasion that one side comes into the game as an overwhelming favourite.
Club America are enjoying a spell of dominance at present in Mexico. Fresh from their dramatic Clausura victory they have begun their Apertura title challenge in similarly impressive fashion. Tuesday night’s 2-0 home win over Tijuana, despite missing several first team players, was their 8th consecutive win in the Estadio Azteca. A victory in the Súper Clásico would equal the record set back in the 1981-82 season. As if beating the rivals wasn’t incentive enough?
Not only this but they are also on course to break the record for the highest points tally over the course of a championship. What is all the more impressive with this is that the record of 43 points dates to a time when they were two more matches available due to there being 20 teams in Liga MX. Anyway, you get the idea, this America side are pretty good.
A clear system of playing, a solid defence, organised by the intelligent Miguel Herrera, an in-form winger with an eye for goal, in the form of Rubens Sambueza and the best striker in Mexican football in Raul Jimenez, makes this America side a formidable opponent.
In contrast, Chivas are in a terrible state. One win in their last 18 Liga MX matches and only 8 points so far, things look very bleak. This is not an overnight problem either as they have slid to a precarious position in the relegation standings. It seems absurd to talk to Chivas and relegation but that is the grim reality. Most likely, Atlante will save them that fate at the end of this Clausura but in a year’s time, if there hasn’t been dramatic improvement, make no mistake, Chivas will be in the thick of a fight for survival.
Last time out in the Clasico Tapatio, Chivas were undoubtedly saved by some generous refereeing decisions and they will not be able to rely on the same fortune inside a packed Estadio Azteca.
There are currently 20 points seperating the two sides in the table and this difference has never been greater since the introduction of the short season format. However, perhaps Chivas’ record does give cause for some optimism? After all on these occasions, isn’t form supposed to go out the window?
In the short tournament format, Chivas have a good record in the Estadio Azteca. In the 21 matches between the two, Chivas have lost only 7. Not since 2009 have America managed a win in this fixture and the last 2 meetings have both ended in 3-1 victories for the visitors. This very even record should give Chivas cause for optimism despite the recent statistics suggesting otherwise.
All that being said about Chivas’ record in the Estadio Azteca I can’t see anything other than a America win. Herrera’s team look virtually unbeatable and with goal scoring options all over the pitch, Chivas will do well to keep them out. Even with the intense occasion of a Súper Clásico I struggle to see Chivas stopping America. Raul Jimenez could further write himself into America legend if he could put in another match winning performance and that is what I predict.
2-0 or 3-0 to America and Jimenez causing the damage.