Pumas is set to change recent history as they face Cruz Azul on Sunday in their first home game of the season. While Cruz Azul has been struggling in recent years, this hasn't translated to Pumas' Olimpico Universitario stadium where they haven't lost since 2010. Pumas has had more success but a victory against Cruz Azul is a must, after a defeat against Chivas in Guadalajara, continuing the longest active streak in Mexican football (34 years since Pumas last beat Chivas in Guadalajara).
New Cruz Azul coach Paco Jemez had an ideal start with a win in their opener against Necaxa. Azul fans have high expectations this season after having big signings and changing their coach. Cruz Azul had some moments of good play,but overall, their 1-0 win against Necaxa wasn't very spectacular.
On the other hand while Pumas lost to Chivas, the game and their overall play was considered of higher quality than Cruz Azul's. Pumas new signing, Nicolas Castillo, showed great stuff,and Pumas played in a higher tempo and deserved to come out with at least a draw. Chivas is also a better team than Necaxa, whose best player, Edson Puch was injured during the Cruz Azul game.
Jemez will also face a tough venue in Olimpico Universitario for the first time since arriving to Liga MX (fan support, 12 o'clock time start). On the other hand, Francisco Palencia ,Pumas coach, will face his old team for the second time and under conditions that were great for him and where he has only lost one game.
Pumas/Cruz Azul is arguably one of the biggest game this weekend, and while recent matchups haven't lived up to expectations, what was seen in the first week leads many to believe that this will not be the case. At home and coming from the better performance, it looks like Pumas has the upper hand, although they will miss injured striker Matias Britos, who also missed the Guadalajara game. Pumas’ negative streak against Cruz Azul is there for everybody to see, but this is as good as any opportunity for Pumas to end this.
Date: Sunday, January 15
Time: 10:00 AM Pacific, 12:00 PM Central, 1:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Estadio Olímpico Universitario
Television: United States - Univision, Univision Deportes Network; Mexico- Canal de las Estrellas, UnivisionTDN
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)