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Chivas comes as victim of Mexican soccer derby

Chivas comes as victim of Mexican soccer derby

Posted by Ricardo Vázquez on October 31, 2014

Club America and its legion of fans are treating Saturday’s Superclasico as a send-off for a Chivas side flirting with relegation.

Considering it is also Day of the Dead in Mexico, some yellow-clad, fun-poking America fans will surely bring altars depicting the imminent death of their rival, or skeletons dressed in Chivas attire, to the Estadio Azteca.

After all, Day of the Dead isn’t the dour and sad occasion some may assume it to be. It’s usually more of a celebration and there’s a heavy dose of dark humor mixed in there.

The context is that Saturday could, in theory, be the last time Chivas play in the Azteca for quite some time, with the club above only Puebla and Leones Negros in the Liga MX relegation table and one team set to drop to the second division next May.

Of course, there is a long way to go and 63 points still on the table for Chivas to potentially win, but the battle with America wouldn’t be a rivalry without the morbo between fans.

This is Mexico’s most anticipated game; the clash between the flashy, rich star-studded capital city giants peppered with foreigners – America - against the regional grit, graft and all-Mexico power of Chivas de Guadalajara. Both sit at the top of the all-time title table, with 11 each.

The traditional way of looking at this rivalry is a battle of supremacy, for bragging rights between the two Mexican clubs with most fans.

The story this time around is all about how the teams arrive – or stumble in Chivas’ case – at the game.

It’s difficult to think of a time when the two sides were so far apart going into a clasico. Las Aguilas are on 29 points, with Chivas on 11 this Apertura.

Over the last four seasons, America has made every playoff, been in two finals and lifted one league trophy. Chivas, on the other hand, have scraped into just one playoff in that time. The difference in regular season points is 71 over those seasons, although Chivas have played only 81 games, compared to America’s 82.

On top of that, America has won the last three clasicos (without conceding a goal), the last one in ugly fashion for Chivas, who lost 4-0 at home.

The cliché of “anything can happen” in a clasico may be what Chivas and their fans are trying to tell themselves this week, but there is no solid reason to believe Guadalajara has any more chance of getting something on Saturday than Puebla or Leones Negros would have.

Bookmakers online have Chivas at long odds to defeat America, but with the Guadalajara team winning just twice in the league in 13 matches this Apertura, they aren’t tempting.

 

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