Week 7 of the Apertura 2011 season brings with it several notable games, one being the match-up of Atlas and UANL Tigres that will take place at Estadio Jalisco on Saturday night. The match features two teams dealing with two entirely different situations this season. Atlas, coming off a devastating 5-2 loss to America, has struggled throughout the beginning of the season, while Tigres has yet to lose and sits comfortably in 4th place in the league table.
Atlas has played a total of six games, with four losses, one tie, and one win, giving the team 4 out of a possible 18 points. Not a good start for a team that is also fighting off relegation next season to Mexico’s second division. Atlas coach Ruben Omar Romano has not seemed to find the chemistry the team needs to move forward, and at times has even stated that he is forced to work with limited personnel. Atlas is sitting very close to the relegation percentage, and with a loss to Tigres can fall even lower on the percentage table. Not only will a loss push Atlas away from any chances of qualifying to the Liguilla, but may very well be the last game for head coach Romano.
Tigres, on the other hand, enters the game undefeated. The team has yet to lose, but in the past six games Tigres have only two wins -- their latest a 1-0 defeat of San Luis at Estadio Universitario in week 5. As stated before, the team's record is still good enough for 4th place in the league table. Tigres is a team that is stacked with great individual talent; players like Hector Mancilla, Lucas Lobos, Jorge Torres Nilo, Damian Alvarez, and newly acquired Carlos Salcido. Yet many believe that even with the great team Tigres has, they still have not lived up to the hype that surrounds them. Tigres are usually known as the team that’s unbeatable at home, but that hasn't been reflected this season as they've won only one of their four games at El Universitario. Tigres haven't been so great on the road either. In their two matches away from Monterrey, Tigres have scored a total of just one goal.
Saturday night's match is highlighted by the return of Carlos Salcido to Estadio Jalisco, a field on which he played for many years defending the Chivas jersey. Now he takes a place on an impressive Tigres backline, although the unit is still without the injured Juninho.
When the two teams go head to head in Guadalajara, Atlas will carry the expectation of breaking their negative streak, and will be playing to save Romano’s position as coach of the team. Tigres enters the game looking for a win away from home, which will move them higher up the league table. The importance of this match falls mostly on Atlas, who are eager for points this season as they continue to fight against relegation.
Suspended players: None
Injured players: Jesus Meza (Atlas), Juninho (Tigres), and David Toledo (Tigres)
Time: Kickoff is at 9:45 pm EST (6:45 pm PST), and the match can be seen live in the United States on Galavision (with coverage beginning at 9:30 pm EST)