It's the final match of the 2013 SuperClasico. Chivas is 0-1-1 against the Galaxy in matches this year, their most recently being a 1-0 loss. However a win by a two or more goal margin would give Chivas the season-title, some hardware and bragging rights.
Like I need to say anymore!
Now let's preview the game!
Tale of the tape:
Chivas USA: 26 points (6-17-8), 9th in Western Conference (17th overall). Goal differential -26 (29/55). Last six: D-L-W-D-L-L
Galaxy: 45 points (13-11-6), 5th in Western Conference (9th overall). Goal differential +9 (46/37). Last six: W-W-L-D-D-L
Key Match Up: Chivas USA's counterattack versus the Galaxy's central midfield
A Chivas win will mean quickly countering the Galaxy possession into meaningful scoring opportunities. So core to the Galaxy on both sides of the ball is the Marcelo Sarvas/ Juninho partnership. It's one thing to keep them off the ball, but another to get past them and finding the daylight to trigger a meaningful attempt at Jaime Penedo's goal.
Why Chivas will win: As Chivas is coming off two stinging loses, their form is only slightly worse than the Galaxy's (if you're willing to throw out concepts like "scoreboards"). The Galaxy may feel hard done by the referees but that's the attitude of a first-round "happy to be here" exits, not the words of champions. Quality teams wouldn't be whining about those results because they'd already have the game won. Mentally weak, this is the not the same Galaxy we've become so accustomed to.
Why the Galaxy will win: History. Cohesion. More on the line. Veteran leadership. Now, a chip on their shoulder that "MLS is out to get them". You would call these the "intangibles." Landon Donovan (ankle) and Robbie Rogers (hamstring strain) may be hobbled but there is still ample enough artillery from both veterans and youth movement alike to dismantle a porous Chivas defense playing without Oswaldo Minda and Marky Delgado and quite possibly without Carlos Bocanegra.
Why this match will end in a draw: Derby matches are often-though not always-a very unpredictable beast. In March, a short-handed Chivas side found in equalizer in Carlos Alvarez's first minutes in the league. We know that Erick Torres needs only slightest matter of space to create dangerous strikes out of nothing. We also know this Chivas side can cede possession of the ball as if it were an undesirable white elephant gift yet limit opponent's attacks on goal.
Notable Absences: Bruce Arena (lolz), Oswaldo Minda (yc accumulation)
What do you think? Leave your thoughts, comments and predictions below!