On Friday, March 6, Pumas will host Club America in a new edition of El Clasico Capitalino in Ciudad Universitaria. The last time the two Mexico City clubs faced each other the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Referee: Fernando Hernadez Gomez
Pumas started the season in very good form, the past few weeks have failed to keep the momentum going. The team lost 3-0 against Tigres extending the losing streak to two games. The team managed by Michel will look for a bounce-back performance in one of the most important games of the tournament for the squad.
Luis Quintana will miss this game due to the red card he picked up vs Tigres last week.
Pumas has one of the friendliest defenses for the oppositions allowing a total of 13 goals in the Clausura 2020.
Club America continues to have one of the weirdest seasons in Liga MX history. The club continues to be a roller coaster of situations week in week out. Las Aguilas are coming off a very disappointing performance vs a Necaxa side that looked much weaker on paper.
Miguel Herrera will have his player options very limited again due to all of the situations that have happened in the club in the past couple of weeks.
Sebastian Caceres is still recovering from a procedure in his meniscus.
Renato Ibarra remains sidelined but is expected to come back to the squad this month.
Roger Martinez is expected to be allowed back into the squad this week ending the saga of Emilio Azcarraga vs Roger Martinez.
Nicolas Freire vs Federico Viñas
Pumas have had struggles on defense this season, having allowed 13 goals this season. It won’t be any easier on Friday with Luis Quintana being suspended. Quintana has had great moments this season despite the struggles of Pumas. In his absence, Nicolas Freire will have to step up
Freire came in as a substitute vs Tigres last week to play his first minutes of the campaign. The Argentinan center back is a strong and physical player who will look to step up in Quintana’s absence. Freire will have his hands full on Saturday taking on one of the most physical forwards in Liga MX Federico Viñas.
Viñas has not had many chances to score this year because of the issues America is having going forward. Despite all of this Viñas is always a threat to the opposition because of his physical playing style and the way he runs all over the field putting pressure on the opposition.
Alejandro Mayorga vs Sebastian Cordova
Sebastian Cordova continues to shine despite the struggles Las Aguilas have had. The 22-year-old Mexican International continues to prove that he has everything it takes to be the motor for the team. Cordova’s versatility and ability making him a threat against any team he plays against.
Cordova has been in charge of creating the chances for Las Aguilas this season because of how ineffective Ibarguen and Dos Santos have been. Cordova’s is high on confidence right now and it can be crucial to opening the score in Ciudad Universitaria on Friday. Cordova is a player that also moves very well around the whole field. Sometimes he appears on the left, other time’s on the center and the right side of the field. If Cordova plays the same role he has in the past few weeks he will be matching up against Alejandro Mayorga for most of the match.
The former Chivas player is playing very well right now and is finally finding consistent minutes in Primera Division. Mayorga has very good timing and is very good at slide tackles. Mayorga will have to be on his toes against the ability of Sebastian Cordova because that match up can be a major key to winning the game for either side.
Juan Dinenno vs Emanuel Aguilera
Juan Dinenno joined Pumas for the Clausura 2020 in hopes of reinforcing the Pumas attack. The 25-year-old Argentinian has already made an impact on this squad having scored 3 goals in 6 games. The number doesn’t seem impressive but Dinenno has not started on any of those games, Dinenno is averaging 25 minutes per game which leaves with an impressive mark of a goal every 49 minutes.
Dinenno practiced with the Pumas starting eleven this week and is expected to line up as a starter for the first time this season. Dinenno is a very physical and technical player with an excellent shot from outside the box. Dinenno has very similar characteristics to Dario Lezcano and Mauro Quiroga who both had very impressive games against Las Aguilas.
The man in charge of trying to stop Dinenno will be Emanuel Aguilera. Aguilera will be in charge of leading the defense in Bruno Valdez’s absence. Aguilera is a player that is sometimes mistake-prone and at times those mistakes are reflected on the score sheet. Aguilera’s focus will not only be to try to keep Dinenno off the score sheet but also be a voice for Luis Fuentes at the back to come out with the three points from CU the communication between that Fuentes and Aguilera will be crucial