With countless injuries - many to key players - Chivas de Guadalajara has struggled this season - in both the Mexican league the CONCACAF Champions League.
A 3-1 loss to Atlante has dropped the 11-time Mexican league champion to 12th in Liga MX. A victory on Thursday over Xelaju could at least salve one wound.
A 1-0 win or a one by at least two goals would send Guadalajara to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. Any other result would push Xelaju, which sits atop Group 8 with seven points heading into both teams Group Stage finale, into the knockout stage.
The difference between the sides can be traced back to the first meeting, a 1-0 Xelaju victory August 21 at Estadio Mario Camposeco.
But midfielder Xavier Baez thinks things can be different at Estadio Omnilife Thursday.
"We are in our house and we have to get this result in order to pass to the next round which is what we want and is one of the objectives that we have outlined," Baez told UniradioInforma.com. "You have to play the full 90 minutes like a final."
The pressure is squarely on Chivas, although Xelaju is the only Guatemalan team still alive in the Champions League
"We will try to accomplish the feat, which is to obtain the classification," Xelaju coach Hernan Medford told EFE. "The boys are motivated and the game is set."
Xelaju faces a similar situation as Herediano, which drew 0-0 at Real Salt Lake on Tuesday to reach the last eight.
Unlike its Chivas or Xelaju, the LA Galaxy already has clinched a berth in the quarterfinals. However, its final Group Stage match against Isidro Metapan is far from meaningless.
The Major League Soccer squad is playing for a top-four seed in the quarterfinals, which would guarantee a home game in the second leg.
However, the Galaxy is also preparing for a November 1 playoff game against the Vancouver Whitecaps, which means there's a strong possibility several first team players, including David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, will remain in Los Angeles.
"We have a whole group this week training, as well as a group going to El Salvador," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena told lagalaxy.com. "They're in training every day with our guys…half our staff will be here and half will be in El Salvador."