The first Chivas vs Toluca quaterfinal leg will be on Thursday, November 15 at 10:00 PM EDT at the Estadio Omnilife, with the return leg on Sunday, November 18 at 4:00 PM EDT at the Estadio Nemesio Diez in Toluca. On paper, this is between the best against the worst in this Apertura 2012 playoffs as the number 1 seeded team, Toluca plays the number 8 seed, Chivas. Eleven points separated these two teams in the regular season, Toluca with 34 and Chivas of Guadalajara with 23.
Toluca will finally be able to show in this playoffs what they are made of. They achieved being the best squad in the Liga MX with a great midfield which in turn allowed the ‘diablos rojos’ with a good defense and a good attacking system. Against Chivas, Toluca has the advantage to pass to the semifinals as they face the lowest seeded team, but first they will need to exit the Omnilife Stadium with a positive result.
The red devils have been kept quiet by the media in terms of popularity. Chivas is by far the most popular team in Mexico compared to Toluca, but Chivas’ eleven titles are also magnified compared to the ten won by the ‘choriseros’. Today, Toluca will start a new run towards a new title, and if they play like they did throughout the regular season they should have no problem defeating Chivas on Thursday night.
Individual players to watch will be Antonio Naelson ‘Sinha’ for Toluca, who is key to the well-being of his team’s midfield. Sinha may be far from his prime years, but at 36 he is still capable of leading a midfield on the attack. For Chivas, Rafael Marquez Lugo is the best forward of the team, and when he plays he makes a big difference. Lugo is suffering a knee injury, but it is mentioned he will be played on the playoffs.
Chivas of Guadalajara is a happy-camper because it is extremely rare for a team with 23 points and a below .500 productivity to be in the playoffs. However, let’s not take away any merit because they were a strong finisher in the league and if they are able to play how they did the last seven games, then they will give Toluca a good fight. Chivas needs to win at home Thursday night if they want to qualify into the second round, but to do this, attacking midfielder Marco Fabian must improve his game.
Fabian is a top-class player who already won a gold medal in the past Olympics, but he has not been able to demonstrate his best talent at his club. On the final in London 2012 against Brazil, Giovani Dos Santos was out with an injury and Fabian took the role of the leader and was a game-changer, and that is what he needs to do now that Marquez Lugo is not at the 100%.
Chivas vs Toluca Prediction
In the first Chivas vs Toluca leg, Chivas has the pressure to score early to take the advantage into the Nemesio Diez stadium. However, this will be difficult as Toluca is the top contender in the playoffs. Therefore, both teams will play with an intelligent defense, and the score will be decided in Toluca. Chivas and Toluca will tie 1-1.
Television: The first leg of the Chivas vs Toluca will be shown on Telemundo on Thursday, November 15 at 10:00 PM Eastern.