A Tigres-Tuzos rematch could come in the Liguilla as both teams appear headed for playoff spots.
There is no doubt that the Tigres are a heavyweight team, with such a cluster of talented players that they virtually have an all-star team on the bench every game. It’s obvious that Club UANL would be challenging for the title and they are currently sitting in first place in the league standings with 19 points.
The Tigres are coming off back-to-back wins in the past week, a 1-0 win in Liga MX over Atlas and a 5-1 blowout of Deportivo Saprissa in the Concacaf Champions League. The victory over Atlas was decided on a last-minute penalty, converted by superstar André-Pierre Gignac (pictured at top) who is trying to defend his scoring title. The Frenchman now has 6 goals on the season, one behind the leaders. The goal also marked his 100th goal with the Monterrey-based club.
Midweek, the Tigres advanced to the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals with their win over Costa Rica’s Saprissa, led by a hat trick from Enner Valencia. This gave the Tigres a 5-2 aggregate win after they had lost 1-0 in Costa Rica in the first leg.
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The Tigres are on a five-game winning spree in the league and are beginning to really come into their own, unlike last season when they appeared to sleepwalk through the regular season before being bumped from the Liguilla in the quarterfinals. They are just flat out good and very talented, and they boast one of the best defenses in the league, allowing only 6 goals through 8 weeks.
Visiting the Tigres are Los Tuzos and they come into the Saturday night game showing some confidence. They have not lost a game since Matchday 3 when they lost to America 3-0, after which coach Pako Ayestarán was sacked. Since bringing in Martin Palermo, the Tuzos have gone 3-2-0 with an 8-3 goal differential. Pachuca did lose all three Copa MX matches it has played since Palermo took over, including Tuesday’s 5-2 loss at América in the Round of 16.
A good defense will always beat a good offense, right? So if we accept that statement as a truism, the Tigres should not lose at home. Their outstanding defensive team led by Team Mexico defender Carlos Salcedo should slow down the Tuzos attack. The explosiveness the Tigres possess up front should produce enough for a win.