The biggest game in Mexico is upon us. Club America will host Chivas this Saturday, September 16, at Estadio Azteca for a clásico that promises to be entertaining. The Clásico Nacional, The Super Clásico, El Clásico de Mexico, however you want to call it, is the echelon of Mexican football royalty and the biggest game in CONCACAF. Even with both teams coming into this game in rigid form, fans and neutrals alike can anticipate a great spectacle. America will look to use this game as a catalyst for their season. A win on Saturday would catapult them over their rivals in the table. However, it won’t be easy as many questions still loom over André Jardine’s side. Las Aguilas have struggled to look convincing all season long. The Brazilian manager will be looking toward this game hoping to find his best football yet, even though injuries continue to plague this side.
The Clásico of Mexico: Club America vs. Chivas Preview
Injury Dilemma Extends to the Managerial Side
Jardine’s first season as Club America manager has not been an easy start. With mixed results in both the Leagues Cup and Liga MX, crippled by the fact that he’s had to cope with multiple injuries throughout the season, it’s easy to see why he’s struggled to make this America side great. Injuries have been dealt to many important players like Henry Martin, Jonathan Rodriguez, Diego Valdes, and more. The Brazilian manager just can’t seem to catch a break. Many questions loomed over Martin and Nestor Araujo who both look to be good ahead of Saturday’s match. Now the one in question is the manager himself, who earlier this week was admitted into the hospital and was operated on for acute appendicitis.
Manager André Jardine was successful operated on for an acute appendicitis.
— The Eagle Eye Podcast (@EagleEyePodcast) September 12, 2023
Read More from Last Word on Soccer: Club America Underwhelming Performance vs. Atlas Analysis
Defensive Structure and Attacking Threat
Club America comes into this match after a week off due to the international break. Not to mention, this will be their second “Clásico” match back-to-back. The team managed to escape with a 3-2 win over Cruz Azul in the previous jornada. America is going to have to learn heavily from their defensive mistakes and look to be as clinical Saturday. The running theme for America this season has been their inability to defend and manage games. That will have to change as they go up against a team that will look to attack them and press them high up the pitch. It will be important that the defense keeps its shape and doesn’t over-commit to attacking and leave space in behind for Chivas to exploit. It will be interesting to see what back line Jardine goes with after acquiring defender Igor Lichnovsky from Tigres on deadline day.
— The Eagle Eye Podcast (@EagleEyePodcast) September 14, 2023
On the attacking side of things, Club America will have to be as clinical as ever. Regardless of who fields up top, the team has very capable players who can change the dynamic of the game. It will be important for the team to not be wasteful in front of goal like in previous games. With Jardine echoing he wants his team to be a very possessive side, if America manages to find an early goal it will be important for the team to defend themselves by having the ball at their feet.
Key Players to Watch for Club America
In a game as big as this one, eyes will be on everyone on the pitch. A few players will have to come up big on the night for Club America. Starting off with Julian Quiñones. As of late he’s been able to score and will be an instrumental piece of this America attack. Quiñones will need to be clinical in front of goal and knows the pressure of playing against Chivas. Secondly, Spaniard Alvaro Fidalgo will be tasked with orchestrating the midfield. The America attack will start with what he is capable of doing with the ball at his feet. Lastly, Martin is the key player to watch. The Mexican international will most likely feature on the bench since he hasn’t played in over a month. He loves himself a goal, especially against Chivas so expect him to be on his “A” game.
Read More from Last Word on Soccer: LA Galaxy vs. LAFC Prediction for September 16; Galaxy To Take LA Bragging Rights?
As the highly-anticipated Clásico Nacional draws near, Club America faces the task of overcoming both injuries and a challenging season start under Jardine’s helm. Estadio Azteca awaits to be the grand stage for Jardine’s side who look to erase the mistakes of the past in this match. Anyone who has listened to the Eagle Eye Podcast knows how heavily I have criticized this team in the past, which is why my prediction may come as a shock. I predict Club America will come on top with a 2-1 win over their most hated rival Chivas.
The post The Clásico of Mexico: Club America vs Chivas Preview appeared first on Last Word On Soccer.