Four keys to victory vs. San Luis

Posted by Eric Gomez

Alejandro Godinez/ ImagesWith Rubens Sambueza out, Club America will need Christian Bermudez to step up and be the playmaker in the Aguilas' attack.

Club America will be facing their old 'sibling' San Luis at the Estadio Azteca, with the Eagles trying to pick up their second win in their last three league matches and fortify their standing near the top of the table en route to the Clausura playoffs.

Here are four things the Mexico City giants need to do to secure three points:

1. Take advantage of defensive mistakes

San Luis has given up an average of two goals per match this season, with their 20 total goals allowed only better than league-worst Atlante who has given up 21. The Reales will be debuting their third manager in the last ten games and chances are San Luis will park the bus at the Azteca.

However, chances are high that the visitors will slip up at some point. Christian Benitez (who has scored 20 times in 2012-13) and Raul Jimenez should have at least a couple of sitters to take advantage of at some point.

2. Account for Rubens Sambueza's absence

Any time the Argentine winger has had to miss a match due to injury or suspension this season, the team's offense has suffered. The 29-year-old has been guiding America's offense throughout the season, and with him out of the match, defenses tend to adjust well to limiting Osvaldo Martinez's contributions.

Thus, America will need to spread the ball around and keep the dynamic flow of Sambueza's style alive with potential replacements Juan Carlos Medina or Christian Bermudez. Bermudez is the rather obvious choice if coach Miguel Herrera wants to maintain an offensive focus, while Medina is more of an all-terrain guy.

3. Establish the tone early

Any team, even those at the bottom of the table, tends to gain confidence at the Estadio Azteca if they're able to withstand the initial onslaught. America has been great this season at putting the pressure on in the opening minutes and today will be no different in order to cruise towards victory.

On average, San Luis has conceded its first goal of the game within the first 30 minutes in the Clausura 2013, a statistic that will need to be taken advantage of to put the visitors in the hole quickly. Away from home, that stat becomes more apparent -- San Luis gives up its first goal of the game in the 19th minute, on average.

4. Avoid mental mistakes

America's disciplinary record keeps getting fatter week in and week out. Morelia gave the team a one-man advantage last week, but they could have just as easily given it back if not for a bad call from the game's referee on a bad Osvaldo Martinez foul.

If it seems like the only team on the pitch that can beat America on Saturday is indeed America, then the fact that fiery Herrera's personality has rubbed off a bit too much on the team will be apparent. No silly fouls should be tolerated.

Parting Shot: Let's make it ten straight

America has not lost to San Luis in their last nine head-to-head matches dating back to 2009. The last time San Luis beat the Aguilas was in a match that featured two America red cards (Ismael Rodriguez, Angel Reyna) and featured some of the worst players ever to grace an America jersey, such as Robert de Pinho, Fernando Ortiz and Jean Beausejour.

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