Match: Pachuca vs. Club América
Date: Saturday, August 4th
Time: 7:00 PM Eastern, 6:00 PM Central, 4 PM Pacific, 11:00 PM UTC
Venue: Estadio Hidalgo (Pachuca, Hidalgo)
Pachuca haven’t quite gotten off to the start they were hoping for in the 2018 Apertura season. After two jornadas of Liga MX action, los Tuzos find themselves in 16th place with a -2 goal difference following losses to Monterrey and Queretaro. The usually very exciting young squad have lacked the spark that has made them one of the more exciting teams in recent Liga MX history. In fact, los Tuzos have failed to score in their first two Liga MX matches of the season. Nothing has been clicking offensively for the young squad and its beginning to look like this might be a long season for Pachuca.
Club América, on the other hand, come into Saturday Night’s duel with Pachuca in high spirits. In their last Liga MX match, las Águilas completely obliterated a hapless Atlas side by a scoreline of 3-0 at the historic Estadio Azteca. The dominant victory over Atlas was a much needed bounce back for Club América following a lackluster showing on the road against Necaxa in Jornada 1. As if beating a league opponent by multiple goals wasn’t enough, two of Club América’s most important players Guido Rodríguez and Mateus Uribe both got their names onto the scoresheet in the victory.
Both squads were victorious in their midweek Copa MX victories with Pachuca defeating a hapless Santos Laguna and Club América defeating an equally hapless Veracruz side. Veracruz failed to meet the Copa MX youth requirements in their match with Club América. This means that all official Copa MX records will show las Águilas having won the match 3-0 instead of the 2-0 scoreline at the end of Tuesday’s match.
Pachuca will be looking to build off of their midweek Copa MX victory in order to turn around their season. However, this will be easier said than done for los Tuzos. Something is going to have to change offensively for Pachuca if they are going to take all three points from Saturday’s match. There is absolutely no way that they can hope to perform at a similar level to their matches against Monterrey and Queretaro if they want to have any shot of beating las Águilas.
In his prematch press conference Miguel Herrera announced that Diego Lainez and Edson Alvarez would be starting in Saturday's match. It will be Lainez’s first start since he was named MVP of the Toulon Tournament with the Mexico Youth National Team. Hopefully this is the break that Lainez needs to cement his place in the starting XI.
Herrera also announced that Mateus Uribe and Renato Ibarra will miss the match thanks to a throat infection and a strained left thigh muscle respectively
For head coach Miguel Herrera and Club América, this match will be all about which squad decides to show up in Pachuca. Will it be the sloppy Jornada 1 squad that was easily dispatched by Necaxa or will it be the dominant side that obliterated Atlas? If imiguel Herrera can get a slightly rotated Club América to perform as effectively as they did last week there is no doubt that his side will take all three points back to Mexico City.