América vs Chivas: which players will miss the Clásico Nacional?
Injuries, suspensions, players excluded from the list... we take a look at how both teams shape up for the biggest Liga MX match of the regular season.
It doesn’t get much bigger than the Clásico Nacional, a key date in the Liga MX fixtures calendar. A sell-out Azteca will witness the 250th edition of the Super Clásico this evening in a clash which will undoubtedly affect both teams’ respective positions in the table.
Guadalajara sit fourth on 13 points - only two points and two places ahead of América in sixth. But both recent form and position in the standings count for little when it comes to the Clásico Nacional. Anything can happen, which is why it has always been one of the most attractive contests in Mexican soccer.
América’s problems at the back
Both clubs go into the game at relatively full strength. The hosts experienced the biggest setback when centre-back Sebastián Cáceres picked up a minor injury during the Azulcremas’ final training session, just 24 hours before the game. According to different sources close to the club, the possibility of seeing the Uruguayan defender on the field of play is minimal. Cáceres played the full 90 minutes in both of La Celeste’s World Cup qualifying games against Chile and Ecuador and returned with muscular fatigue. He has been dropped from the list at the last minute.
Another absence from the Coapa team also concerns the defence. Néstor Araujo is also carrying muscular problems and has not worked with the group that is expected to form André Jardine’s starting XI against Chivas, according to ESPN journalist, César Caballero.
Due to those absentees plus that of Israel Reyes, it now looks highly likely that new signing Igor Lichnovsky will make his debut alongside Ramón Juárez in the Super Clásico as the Brazilian coach has no other options to cover for his two most experienced centre-backs. Henry Martín is expected to play a part in the game but it is not known whether he will be in the line-up or start on the bench.
Jardine, who underwent a minor operation at the start of the week, confirmed in his pre-match press conference that he will be on the bench on Saturday night.
Chivas at full strength
Guadalajara coach Veljko Paunovic meanwhile has a full squad to select his starting line-up. The Serbian is in the fortunate position of having no injuries or suspensions to report.
The Rojiblancos will be able to count on Alexis Vega, who returns from international duty with Mexico. The centre-forward, who missed the team’s last game, a 1-2 defeat to Rayados, could be the only change Paunovic makes to his side going into tonight’s clash.
The Apertura 2023 Week 8 game between América and Chivas kicks off at 9:10 p.m. local time (11:10 p.m. EDT/ 8:10 p.m. PDT) on Saturday 16 September.