Liga MX: Chivas, Cruz Azul seeking to re-establish place among Mexico's 'grandes'

Both clubs are among Mexico’s four traditional greats, and Saturday’s meeting will be key to getting back on track

December’s Liga MX final between Monterrey and Tigres once again sparked a conversation about which Liga MX teams are truly “grandes.” There are four: Club America, Chivas, Cruz Azul and Pumas. Only one, America, made the semifinals.

When Chivas host Cruz Azul on Saturday night in the Clausura’s first meeting between grandes, we’ll see two clubs desperately seeking to get back to the consistent success that made them part of the group in the first place.

Chivas at least have a title in recent memory, winning the league in last year’s Clausura and adding that season’s Copa MX title for good measure. Between injuries and struggles at home, Matias Almeyda’s men fell off a cliff in the recently concluded Apertura and failed to make the postseason.

Cruz Azul hasn’t won the league in more than two decades. La Maquina snapped their long playoff drought by making the Liguilla in the Apertura but are again in a state of transition after parting ways with manager Paco Jemez and luring former Santos Laguna and Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha to Mexico City.

Fans of the club are quick to point out the history they boast, and that’s fair. The “nouveau riche” in Monterrey aren’t even approaching Chivas’ 12 titles. Even Cruz Azul’s eight may be safe from Tigres’ six or Monterrey’s four. But how much does that matter if the clubs can’t even get a playoff win in the…

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