After a week long international break, the Liga MX resumes with Chivas de Guadalajara visiting the Xolos of the border town of Tijuana. It will be a promising game, with both teams hoping to secure the three points and the win. Xolos will go into the game with a roller coaster of results changing from one week to another, while Chivas are going in with a win against Jaguares of Chiapas at home, and a draw in a friendly against Club Leon.
Club Deportivo Guadalajara, better known in Mexico as Chivas, are working to get the ghost of relegation behind them. It’s a difficult feat to achieve for the red-and-whites, especially considering that the players have been plagued by injuries, while others have been called to represent the Mexican national team at its various age levels.
Now that the players have either recovered or returned from international duty, their team manager, Jose Manuel de la Torre, better known as Chepo, can use a different line-up.
Here are the possible players for the match against Xolos de Tijuana:
Ever since the team’s usual starting goalkeeper, Luis Michel, was sent out of the team due to problems with the owner, Chivas had two replacements for the red-and-white veteran that guarded the net. One of them was Rodolfo Cota, who was on a loan at Puebla for one year. When that loan ended, Chivas made negotiations with Club Pachuca to have Cota play for them. He has not formally made his debut in the Liga MX with Chivas, but has participated in Copa MX as the starting goalkeeper.
The main man guarding the Chivas net since Michel left is Jose Antonio Rodriguez. He had been the starting goalkeeper for Chivas until Michel returned from a brief loan to Herediano in the first division of Costa Rican football. For one year, Rodriguez was left on the bench in favor of a more experienced goalkeeper.
This Friday, Rodriguez will most likely be the starting man guarding the Chivas net.
Carlos Salcedo would likely be playing as a right back after returning from a brief injury on his left bicep femoris.
Jair Pereira, also returning from an injury, would be the team’s center back. His partnership with Salcedo was key in the previous season, where they were able to work together to build a strong defense line.
The other center back would be Oswaldo Alanis, who won the Copa Oro with the Mexican national team over the summer. Alanis had been away during international friendlies, representing Mexico against Trinidad & Tobago, as well as Argentina.
On the left, as a left back, would be Miguel Ponce, also returning from a brief bicep femoris injury.
With all the other injured players ready to get back on the pitch, youngsters who were given the opportunity to prove their skills, will more likely be on the bench once more.
A four player defense line is just what Chepo de la Torre likes because it allows the team to keep the goal net guarded. Also, it secures the win in case they do achieve one. De la Torre is a team manager that plays very defensively.
In the midfield will most likely be Carlos Salcido and Jorge Enriquez.
Salcido has been recovering from an ankle injury which took place at the game against Tigres at Estadio Universitario. Now that he is recovered, Salcido can get back on the pitch and provide leadership for this team of many young players.
Jorge Enriquez, better known as Chaton, will likely be taking the place of Jesus Sanchez. Sanchez, who has been on the bench most of the season, has not yet been able to get a place on the starting eleven. His chances may have also been affected by the two consecutive red cards he received, one during Liga MX and the other during Copa MX. This leaves the opportunity open for an eager Enriquez, who wants to earn a permanent spot on the starting eleven.
Chivas’ attack will be comprised of important players to the team.
Isaac Brizuela will act as the right winger, and will make sure to center passes that can be pushed into the back of the net by Fabian or Bravo. Brizuela also returned from an injury, during which time his position was covered by Raul Lopez, who is now currently injured, leaving the position back in Brizuela’s hands.
Marco Fabian will take over as second striker. Fabian also returned very recently from an injury that kept him out of the starting eleven for a few weeks. Fabian can also take the free kicks, which are his specialty, which can help put Chivas at an advantage over Xolos.
The footballer acting as left winger would be Carlos Fierro. When Fabian was injured, the twenty one year old had been acting as a second striker behind Bravo, but making passes for goal has proven to be Fierro’s specialty. Since Fabian recovered from his injury and Fierro was made left forward, the team has scored more goals than before.
The top man of Chivas’ attack is Omar Bravo, playing as first striker. Bravo is a very important man in Chivas. He is a leader, he is the team captain, and he is the all time top scorer for the team, surpassing a record that had been established over fifty years earlier by Salvador Reyes. After a dry spell at the beginning of the season, it seems Bravo has found his motivation to score goals and thus far has scored five goals in seven games.
With all the injuries behind them, it seems that Chivas just might get rid of the ghost of relegation this season.