Tigres vs Pachuca – Tuesday 7pm PT/10pm ET Estadio Universitario – Monterrey.
The first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League will kick off tonight and, once again, it will be a Mexican club that will bring home the trophy. No other country has been able to break through the strangle hold that Liga MX clubs have on that competition.
While this will be an all-Mexican affair once again, there are still some interesting story lines to follow regarding this match. First of all, Tigres UANL have put together a squad that could easily be called the most talented in the Western Hemisphere with the hope that they will finally end their international title drought.
Tigres came close when they reached the final of the Copa Libertadores in 2015, but were defeated by River Plate from Argentina, which meant that their international title drought continued. Then in the 2015-16 season, Tigres reached the final of the CONCACAF Champions League, but they were defeated 4-1 on aggregate by Club América.
Tigres head coach Ricardo Ferretti expressed relief after Tigres reached the final against the Vancouver Whitecaps earlier this month. He hopes that the third time is the charm as the club are now favourites to win the title against Pachuca.
In fact, Tigres’ desire to win the CONCACAF crown has been evident throughout the Clausura, for the Monterrey based club has focused on the Champions League, and as a result their league performance has suffered. In recent weeks Tigres have been better, however, and they are once again on playoff course in the Liga MX.
Pachuca in the meantime also have seen their form dropped in recent weeks, and going into the final they are certainly the outsiders against a team that could be the strongest in the Americas.
Tigres vs Pachuca – Players to look out for:
André-Pierre Gignac #10 – Tigres
André-Pierre Gignac is by far the biggest star in Liga MX. The French national team striker has, however, struggled somewhat in the Clausura. Some of this might be due to the fact that his club has focused on winning the CONCACAF Champions League where he played a major role in defeating Vancouver Whitecaps in the semi-finals of the competition. With the final reached, in which Tigres will face Pachuca over two legs, Tigres will now focus on the Clausura. This was evident in Gignac’s recent performance against Chivas, when the striker scored twice to double his Clausura tally from two goals to four goals.
Hirving Lozano #8 – Pachuca
Hirving Lozano is back from a major injury sustained during the first half of the Clausura. Quick and explosive, Lozano has long been linked with a move to Europe. So far, Chucky has resisted a move to Europe, but a stellar performance on Tuesday would surely attract more potential suitors, especially as Lozano has announced that this will likely be his last year in the Liga MX.
Tigres vs Pachuca – Match Stats
- Tigres have never won an international trophy.
- Pachuca won the CONCACAF Champions League in 2010.
- Both teams defeated MLS teams in the semi-finals.
Prediction: Tigres vs Pachuca 3-0
Tigres vs Pachuca -Possible Lineups
Guzmán – Juninho, Ayala, Torres, Rodríguez – Aquino, Dueñas, Pizarro, Sosa – Vargas, Gignac
Coach: Ricardo Ferretti
Blanco – Garcia, González, Murillo, López – Guzmán, Hernández – Lozano, Gutiérrez, Aguirre – Urreta
Coach: Diego Alonso