On Saturday, February 1st Club America will host FC Juarez at Estadio Azteca. Las Aguilas are looking for a bounce-back performance after a disappointing scoreless draw against Xolos in Tijuana last Friday. Since the start of the Bravos franchise in Juarez, the teams have faced each other only 3 times. In 2019 they faced each other for the first time in the league in a match that ended in a 1-1 draw.
Referee: Adonai Escobedo González
Las Aguilas come into this game with the best defensive record in the league, having not allowed a goal in the first two matches. Las Aguilas look to be sharp on defense but that is not the concern at the moment. America has only managed to score 1 goal this season. The lack of chances created and how dull the team looks going forward is alarming
Miguel Herrera switched his formation to a back of five due to the number of players missing from the squad. Las Aguilas have been depleted by injuries, departures, and the U23 tournament in South America.
Nicolas Castillo underwent surgery on his right thigh on Wednesday. On Thursday Doctors found a thrombosis (blood clot) in his femoral artery. Castillo will be under observation for the next days as we wait for a report on how long the Chilean International will be sidelined. Castillo arrived last year from Benfica as the big-name signing Las Aguilas were looking for, but so far it hasn’t worked out that way. We wish Nicolas Castillo a safe recovery.
FC Juarez has the second-highest scoring team and is coming off back-to-back impressive wins in the league and cup, scoring a total of six goals. Los Bravos are finally clicking and will want to keep the momentum going.
FC Juarez struggled away from home this season, losing on opening day against Chivas. The Juarez defense started the season on the wrong foot allowing 6 goals in the first two matches. The signing of Bruno Romo gave the Juarez defense the boost they desperately needed.
Bruno Valdez vs Dario Lezcano
Dario Lezcano is a complete striker who is in hot form. Lezcano has scored 3 goals in the past two games in the Liga Mx. Lezcano is a key piece in the Juarez attack for his ability to drop down and not only score goals but also create chances. When Lezcano drops down to receive the ball, Bruno Valdez will play a major role in dropping with him and not letting him receive comfortably.
America’s biggest strength this season has been the defense. Bruno Valdez continues to solidify himself as one of the most reliable defenders in Liga MX and the leader of this defense. Valdez is an aggressive player with good timing. If Miguel Herrera decides to play with the back 5 again, Valdez will play an important role in trying to help Haret Ortega against a pacey Juarez side. Valdez is also a threat going forward, this game can come down to a set-piece and Valdez can be the one to get Las Aguilas the win.
Jorge Sanchez vs Luis Lopez
Jorge Sanchez managed to pick himself up after his mistake in the Liga MX Final vs Rayados. Sanchez is one of the best left-backs in the league at the moment and is crucial for Las Aguilas. Sanchez not only defends but is also an outlet going forward. Going up against Luis Lopez who is naturally a center back converted to right-back, Jorge Sanchez can be a major key in helping America create more chances.
Jefferson Intriago vs Ruben Gonzalez
Another key matchup on Saturday is Jefferson Intriago vs Ruben Gonzalez. Gonzalez has had an okay start to the campaign but sometimes loses possession easily. For FC Juarez, Intriago is coming off an impressive performance and assist vs Monarcas on Sunday. For FC Juarez it will be important to get him going early as he is a key player who dictates the tempo of the game. If America wants to win this game “Oso” Gonzalez will have to step up and not allow Intriago to take charge of the midfield.