Pumas will face a tough test as they travel to Guanajuato to face Leon in their second away game of the season. Both teams arrive on the back of 1-0 wins, but the hosts Leon will have the advantage, as new Pumas signing Nicolas Castillo will be suspended for this match.
Pumas come into this game after their 1-0 victory against Cruz Azul, which broke a six-year winless streak at home against their tough city rival. Still, unlike the previous game against Chivas, the Universitarios largely struggled, even when they had a man advantage for most of the game. Worse yet, their goalscorer and best player so far in the tournament, Nicolas Castillo, got a late red card and will miss the game. While Matias Britos may make a return to the lineup after being out for a injury, he might be rusty because of the inactivity.
Pumas also might not have Gerardo Alcoba at 100%, after leaving the game because of injury. That said, Pumas’ defense has been their weakest point this early into the season and Alcoba is the team best defender.
Leon, on the other hand, is going back home after having a terrible defeat in their home opener against Pachuca. Not only did they lose 4-2, but they looked bad and lost their defensive stalwart, Dario Novarettti, for six games after spitting at Hirving Lozano.
Still, they got a good victory against Necaxa in Aguascalientes (1-0) in which they looked the better team, though it was only a late strike by Gullit Peña that got them the win.
Necaxa did have a midweek Copa MX victory at home against Morelia (Pumas is not playing the tournament because of the CONCACAF Champions League) by a 3-0 score in which they dominated. Of course, this after Morelia’s coach publicly said that he doesn't care about Copa MX because Morelia is setting their sights on their relegation fight in the league.
Leon has a good team and has been a solid squad at home for the last several tournaments. But even when they look to have the advantage, they have been hampered by injuries, more so than Pumas. They might also miss Novaretti for the first time, considering Necaxa was missing key player Edson Puch. As such, Pumas might benefit from these small advantages and change the road that many people think is paved for a defeat.
Match date/time: Saturday 8:06 pm EST, 7:06pm local
Venue: Nou Camp, Leon, Mexico
TV: Galavision (US - Spanish), FOX Sports 2 Mexico (Mexico), Claro Sports (Mexico)
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)