Tigres UANL and Monterrey were supposed to compete for the Apertura title, but here they stand a month into the season and both teams are stuck on three points. Tigres have managed just one win in three matches and while Monterrey have three results in four, they are win-less.
That sets the stage for Saturday's Clasico Regio at El Volcan, where a win could propel one team on a run to the top of the table, while the loser will have some serious questions to answer at the Apertura's quarter pole. As if the Clasico needed even more stakes,
If Monterrey want to turn things around, it will have to start at the back. Los Rayados have allowed six goals already this season. Hiram Mier hasn't been near his best, although playing shuttling from position to position along the back hasn't helped, while Jose Maria Basanta has struggled as well.
But Monterrey knows what they are going to get from Mier and Basanta most of the time. Even if they are having some issues now, there is little reason to believe they won't straighten things out. The same isn't true of Lucas Silva, who hasn't become the central midfield partner for Jesus Zavala that they had hoped, which has caused a slew of breakdowns that have hung the defense out to dry.
Tigres don't have any monumental problems, they just need to clean up the small mistakes that have ruined otherwise strong performances this season. That's not a problem teams want to have against Monterrey's counterattack and Humberto Suazo, but that is the reality for Tigres -- and a scary one at that.
Match date/time: Saturday, August 10; 8 p.m. ET
Venue: El Volcan, Nuebvo Leon, Mexico