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Yeah, so the wheels are starting to come off Los Rojinegros, with two consecutive home loses against Cruz Azul and Santos, and barely getting past the worst team ever in Veracruz. Atlas will have 3 games in the next 8 days, against teams playing a bit better than them, can Coach Cufre find some answers so the ship doesn’t sink in the next matches? Maybe paying attention to the wingers could help. Pachuca‘s up next in Week 6 of the Apertura 2019 season.

 

Shaking up the starting lineup

If history tells us anything, several Atlas coaches have been sacked due to the fact that they won’t acknowledge something is seriously not working with their player choices or the system implemented. Just by using our naked eye, we can see that some players just don’t deserve a starting spot right now. Andres Andrade is one of them. The Colombian has been a regular player for Cufre this season, but have you really see him play? 5 games played so far, no goals, no assists. 270 minutes on the pitch. Not good enough to justify his presence of the field.

We can mention others like Mauricio Cuero or Martin Nervo (look at Pineda‘s goal from last week or the tackle that awarded Cruz Azul a penalty) as players who might be denying this squad of better performances. The board of directors and the fans expect a lot more from them, as they’re not canteranos, and have played previously in Mexico.

Another issue. Los Rojinegros don’t have the proper wingers to play in a 4-3-3 formation. That’s just the reality of the situation. Jesus Isijara is an inconsistent player, who played terribly against Santos and Cruz Azul, he does not have the speed to win many 1v1 battles on the wings. Jairo Torres has shown us flashes this season, but he does not feel comfortable the way Cufre utilizes those outside players. I’m not going to waste time on Cuero. Andrade‘s not a winger either.

At the middle, there’s a situation as well: Cufre‘s not employing Osvaldo Martinez to give what he can at his age. He tried using him behind Correa against Veracruz, that didn’t work, and he’s been playing as an interior alongside Lorenzo Reyes and Andrade, but at 33 years, he’s not equipped to realize that task.

Where could Atlas find a solution? Starting by benching Andrade and only using him on specific game situations. Cuero seems like a player not ready to start and Nervo isn’t justifying his spot at the starting XI with his speed problems. Second, a change at the formation could do wonders to this team. A 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1 approach seems better for the players Cufre has. At the middle, Osvaldito could start alongside Reyes, holding a better shape. At the LM and RM positions, guys like Jairo Torres could benefit, and also would help keeping the team compact, not like what we have seen so far (the wingers look a bit far from the rest of the squad, that’s trouble). Ricky Alvarez, Edson Rivera, Facundo Barcelo or Manuel Balda could play with Javier Correa upfront or just a bit behind him.

Close the gaps, use a more compact system, play to the strengths of your squad, and you may have a chance of getting out from the next games alive, Cufre.

Recent History

Los Rojinegros are winless in their last 5 trips to Hidalgo.

Clausura 2019    Pachuca 1-0 Atlas

Clausura 2018    Pachuca 0-0 Atlas

Apertura 2016   Pachuca 3-2 Atlas

Apertura 2015    Pachuca 1-1 Atlas

Apertura 2014   Pachuca 3-1 Atlas

Overall, they’ve tied three times in their last 5 games, either at Pachuca or Guadalajara.

Clausura 2019   Pachuca 1-0 Atlas

Apertura 2018  Atlas 0-0 Pachuca

Clausura 2018  Pachuca 0-0 Atlas

Apertura 2017  Atlas 1-1 Pachuca

Clausura 2017  Atlas 1-0 Pachuca

Match info / Streaming

Apertura 2019

Venue: Hidalgo Stadium

Time: 19:00 Mexico City time

Streaming: Fox Sports

 

 

 

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