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Match Preview: Pumas UNAM vs. Queretaro

Pumas faces a key game at home against Queretaro

Pumas vs Queretaro 2012
Rafael Hernandez

After a long layoff, Pumas UNAM returns with a key game at home against Queretaro. Pumas needs to get back on track after a disappointing loss against Tijuana, in which they were lucky to only lose 1-0 (Tijuana had several shots bounce off the woodwork). They will face one of the weaker teams so far this season in Queretaro, who come from a home loss against Necaxa.

Palencia and company will have to continue their good play at home to make up for their poor road record. While they had wins against Monterrey and Leon, in both of those games they were very frail defensively. Queretaro is lower on the table but have a balanced team, and Palencia will face one of his tougher tasks yet when he faces Victor Manuel Vucetich. Vucetich, Queretaro's coach, is one of the best and most experienced coaches and will be well prepared for Pumas. Queretaro also has the fire power to test Pumas defense but on paper, Pumas has the stronger team.

Queretaro had started the season well but is coming off the back of the notorious accomplishment of giving the first win of the season to Leon and Necaxa in their last two games. However, they already went to Guadalajara and got a draw from Chivas and held Cruz Azul scoreless at home, so they have stepped up against the big teams. Vucetich is also an expert on going to tough venues and getting results. A tie or a victory is not unthinkable. Yet Pumas is the favorite and Palencia faces a tough test that can set things up (negative or positive) for the rest of the season.

Match date/time: Sunday 1pm EST, 12pm local

Venue: Estadio Olimpico Universitario, Mexico City, Mexico

TV: Univsion, Univision Deportes Network, UnivisionTDN (Mexico)