Pachuca vs América – Saturday 5:06 pm PT/ 8:06pm Estadio Hidalgo – Pachuca.
Will he play or not? All of Japan will focus on Pachuca on Saturday as Keisuke Honda could make his debut in Liga MX for his new club. But whether he will play is still in doubt.
The Japanese midfielder arrived in Pachuca in the offseason, but unfortunately for his club was carrying a thigh injury that many suspected would keep him out of matchday action until at least matchday 5. Honda, however, has recently indicated that while it might be too early to start against Club América on matchday 2, he could be ready to come on towards the end of the game.
Honda aside this should be a fascinating game to watch. Both Pachuca and América are heavy weights in Liga MX. Pachuca even won the 2017 CONCACAF Champions League and is, therefore, going to represent North America and the Caribbean at the Club World Cup this Christmas. But like América Pachuca failed to reach the Liguilla during the 2016-17 Clausura season.
There is, therefore, a lot of pressure on both clubs to perform better during the Apertura. Club América brought in new head coach Miguel Herrera. The former Mexican national team and Tijuana coach is supposed to return América to its former glory. The project, however, started poorly with the club losing the Supercopa MX to Querétaro and then to Atlas on matchday 1 of the Liga MX season.
Pachuca in the meantime started the season with a 1-0 defeat against América’s city rivals Pumas UNAM. Both clubs will, therefore, have something to prove on matchday 2, which by all accounts should make for a fascinating game.
Pachuca vs América – Players to look out for:
Keisuke Honda #2 – Pachuca
Keisuke Honda signing for Pachuca is perhaps the transfer of the summer for Liga MX. Only six months ago Honda was destined to head to Major League Soccer where Seattle Sounders all but concluded a deal with AC Milan to land the Japanese midfielder. The 30-year-old was the perfect candidate for MLS surplus material at a great European club, but at the same time still in his prime and from the Japanese market that MLS wants to explore long term. The deal, however, fell apart and Honda has now signed for Pachuca. At Pachuca Honda is expected to fill the hole left by Hirving Lozano on the field and to help Liga MX to break into the popular Japanese market off the field.
Diego Laínez #34 – Club América
Diego Laínez is Mexico’s answer to the United States and Borussia Dortmund wunderkind Christian Pulisic. A quick and dynamic attacking player Laínez debuted in Liga MX as a 16-year-old last season and quickly took on a significant role for Club América. During the Supercopa, Laínez was spotted taking free kicks and corner kicks for his side, which indicates that Club América head coach Miguel Herrera trusts him to carry a heavy load. Whether the club will be able to hang on to the talented winger, however, remains to be seen. The Liga MX is a fantastic league, but to develop into a true global superstar, Laínez will have to move abroad.
Pachuca vs América – Match Stats
- Head to Head in the last five games. Pachuca won 2 América won 2, one draw.
- The two teams met last on May 7, 2017, and Club América was defeated 2-3 at home by Pachuca.
- Club América striker Silvio Romero failed to get a single shot in 62 minutes of play on matchday 1.
Prediction: Pachuca vs América 1-2
Pachuca vs América – Possible Lineups
Perez – Garcia, Herrera, Murillo, Martinez – Guzman, Lopez – Urreta, Aguirre – Puch, Sagal
Coach: Diego Alonso
Marchesín – Samudio, Valdes, Alvarez, Aguílar – da Silva, Mares – Laínez, Guerrero – Quintero, Peralta
Coach: Miguel Herrera
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media junior editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.