Tame Tigres visit rickety Rayados in Clásico Regio

Monterrey and the Tigres will battle for regional bragging rights in Saturday's Clasico Regio. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/LatinContent via Getty Images)
Monterrey and the Tigres will battle for regional bragging rights in Saturday's Clasico Regio. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/LatinContent via Getty Images) /

Monterrey hosts their cross-town rivals in the 123 edition of the northern derby in a game both teams are desperate to win.

Matchday 12 features two big Clasicos although the Monterrey derby is somewhat devalued by the sluggish performances thus far in the Apertura 2109 by both the Rayados and the Tigres. But the Clasico Regio is always a passionate affair and we can expect intensity on the field and in the stands at Estadio BBVA Bancomer.

Monterrey and the Tigres both know a tie does neither of them any good since the two northern rivals have had subpar seasons. As befits a Clasico Regio, it’s win or else.

The host Rayados are coming off their first draw of the Apertura when they battled Cruz Azul to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night at Estadio Azteca. The result left Monterrey in 7th place with 16 points (5 wins, 1 draw, 5 losses) and that simply is unacceptable to Rayados management. After Atlas won on Friday night, the Rayados slipped into 8th place.

More from Viva Liga MX

Making the playoffs is not enough, because the Rayados have a massive payroll and they are supposed to be one of the most feared teams of Liga MX. Instead, the club has already lost more games this season than they did all last season when they finished as the No. 3 seed and boasted the league’s second highest-scoring offense. Through 11 games, six other teams have scored more goals than the 15 the Rayados have managed.

As a result, coach Diego Alonso knows he must win or face unemployment. The fans at BBVA Bancomer Stadium have been vociferous in their disapproval of the job he has done this season. Chants of “Fuera Alonso” have rained down upon the field frequently, even when the team wins. During their last home game, the Rayados allowed a 2-0 lead to disappear against lowly Puebla and the fans unleashed resounding boos.

Tigres visit Rayados
Rogelio Funes Mori needs to show up for Monterrey if the Rayados hope to defeat the Tigres Saturday. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez / LatinContent via Getty Images) /

Monterrey’s star striker Rogelio Funes Mori leads the team with 5 goals and he must be the difference maker, but he has struggled to link up well with new forward Vincent Janssen who will see his first Clasico since joining the club in late August.

As crazy as it seems, the defending champion Tigres are struggling through one of their worst tournaments in several years. They arrive at the derby off an embarrassing home loss to Puebla.

Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s team has not seen a win in over a month (since beating Necaxa 3-1 on Aug. 10. Since then, the Tigres have had 5 draws and a loss, dropping out of playoff position as a result.

The felinos have 14 points (3-5-2), 2 points behind Monterrey in 10th place, although the Tigres have already served their bye. Their offense has been even more impotent than has Monterrey’s. The Tigres have just 13 goals in 10 game and star striker Andre-Pierre Gignac had not found the net since scoring a hat trick in that win against Necaxa. The Frenchman has gone more than 600 minutes without a goal.

The Tigres are anxious for a win and Gignac is anxious for a goal. Feretti’s men would love nothing better than to turn their fortunes around and, at the same time, ruin their bitter rival’s season.