Pumas make their second straight appearance at home as they take on Pachuca on Sunday. The team is currently tied at the top of the league table and is on a three game winning streak, which they hope to continue against a tough Tuzos team. While Pachuca hasn't had a good start to their tournament, after their impressive victory against Leon in their opening game, they are considered one of the best teams on paper. Pumas will need a repeat of their performance in the second half against Necaxa, in their 3-1 win last week, to get a victory against the Tuzos.
Pumas have won both their home games this season but only lived up to their potential in the second half of their last game against Necaxa. Another slow start might be costly against Pachuca, who have more firepower and talent than Necaxa and Cruz Azul (both teams they've faced at home). Pumas will also not have their starting goalkeeper, Marco Antonio “Pikolin” Palacios, who got injured last Sunday. The good news, though, is Pablo Barrera will be available, even after leaving last week’s game through injury.
Pachuca, on the other hand, has had a total opposite path to that of Pumas. While the Universitarios lost their opener but won the rest of their games, Pachuca won big in their opener but have had a big decline since. They beat Chiapas at home but were outplayed for big stretches of the game. They then lost at Necaxa and tied Toluca 0-0 at home. They have suffered at the hands of rival defenders, who have targeted star player Hirving Lozano all season. Still, they are a talented team that won the league title last May and finished second last season.
This is arguably Pumas’ toughest home game of the season so far, yet they have picked up the tempo and will need to take advantage of their home condition here against a tough Pachuca side. The Tuzos have had good performances in Mexico City, which makes this a tough game to predict all around.
Date: Sunday, February 5
Time: 10:00 AM Pacific, 12:00 PM Central, 1:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Olimpico Universitario
Television: United States - Univision, Univision Deportes Network; Mexico- UnivisionTDN, Canal de las Estrellas
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)