With UANL Tigres' goalless draw at Chivas Guadalajara last week, Enrique Palos became the club's first goalkeeper to keep five consecutive clean sheets. An impressive feat, no doubt, but a discouraging stat for San Luis, a club that has failed to even score a goal in its past four league matches. Naturally, Tigres will have to be considered the favorites for this showdown, but the chaotic world of Mexican football will always throw up a few surprises here and there.
San Luis also posted a goalless draw in the previous round, at home against Jaguares. Although the team received a break from Copa Libertadores play in the past week they are back in action next week and it is likely that San Luis manager Ignacio Ambriz will still rest some of his regular starters in anticipation of their must-win game at Once Caldas on Tuesday.
Tigres, meanwhile, have only the league to worry about and will be looking to extend their five point lead at the top of Group A over arch-rivals Monterrey and edge closer to the top of the overall table. They threw away a great chance to come within a point of leaders Pumas by only drawing with Chivas, and will be looking to make sure they don't lose that same opportunity against a San Luis side that has looked decidedly poor as of late despite sitting sixth overall.
The previous leg of this fixture, in San Luis Potosi, resulted in a 1-0 win for the home side, with Othoniel Arce grabbing the winner. However, San Luis has not had much success at the Estadio Universitario, and you would have to look all the way back to the 2002 Apertura to find their last win there, a comprehensive 4-0 victory. With San Luis possibly sitting some important starters, all the signs seem to point towards Tigres continuing their dominance over San Luis at home.
Tigres received a further boost to their chances on Thursday when it was revealed that influential midfielder Lucas Lobos has nearly recovered from a knee injury sustained against Puebla and will likely feature on Saturday. However, should Ferretti opt to exercise caution and keep Lobos out of the starting XI, Carlos Ochoa will be ready to take his place. Ferretti's main dilemma is dealing with his goalkeeping situation. As mentioned previously, Palos has done an outstanding job since replacing regular goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo, but with Saucedo having recuperated from his injury, Ferretti has publicly stated that he has not yet reached a decision over who will start between the sticks Saturday. Otherwise, expect a fairly similar lineup from past games for Tigres, who could go ten points clear in the race for a Liguilla spot should other results go their way.
San Luis come into the game free from injuries or suspensions. However, for the potosinos to get a result out of this game, they will likely have to find a way to get something out of Wilmer Aguirre, a few weeks ago one of the hottest players in Mexico, but a player whose goal drought has coincided with San Luis' winless streak. Othoniel Arce will also have received a boost, having been named to Mexico's preliminary squad for the Copa América. San Luis' task will be made all that much harder by the fact that they will likely go into the Estadio Universitario with a defensive outlook. Expect a tight game, with chances few and far between for both teams.
Want to see if San Luis can solve their offensive woes or if Tigres will extend their five game unbeaten streak? Tune in to Tigres-San Luis at 8pm ET on Telemundo.