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Match Preview: Tigres vs Pumas

Pumas remains the only undefeated team in Mexico but are not favored to remain so after facing Tigres.

Tigres UANL v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Clausura 2020 Liga MX Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

Pumas faces the biggest challenge so far in the season and Tigres hopes they won’t suffer from their goalkeeping problem as Pumas travels to Monterrey to face them this Saturday. Pumas remains the only undefeated club, but their level of play hasn’t been among the best teams out there. Tigres meanwhile has played better than Pumas, but they have a problem after their first team goalkeepers were all sidelined either by injury or the COVID-19 virus, which might have hurt them on their loss away to Toluca.

Tigres had a nice start to their season with a solid 3-0 win against Necaxa. They slowed down a little with two straight ties before returning to their winning ways with a victory against Puebla. Unfortunately after the game their would be a situation that would hurt them on the key goalkeeper position. Nahuel Guzman and Miguel Ortega both tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Then both their U20 keepers were injured, meaning they didn’t have a goalkeeper available for their match against Toluca except for their U17 goalkeepers. They fixed the situation by signing Carlos Galindo. Galindo had been a U20 keeper with Tigres but was released over the summer. Galindo went from out of football to getting the start against Toluca, but he wasn’t good enough to stop them as they got a late goal and defeated Tigres 3-2, ending their undefeated record. As both keepers continued to test positive for the COVID-19, Galindo will get a rematch this Saturday as he plays his second game with Tigres and hopefully for him has the backing of the defense as they face a Pumas team who has suffered a lot in Tigres’ stadium.

Pumas announced this week that Andres Lillini will remain the head coach for the rest of the season. His undefeated record as an interim coach convinced management that he was the best choice. Yet Pumas hasn’t played well and has benefited from luck and a weaker schedule than many teams. During this streak they failed to beat a Juarez team at home that had gone down to nine players. They will also be coming from a 0-0 tie against Mazatlan, which most fans consider the worst game played so far in the Apertura 2020. Players like Carlos Gonzalez, Andres Iniestra and Favio Alvarez have disappointed so far. They also have suffered from constant COVID-19 positive results, with two unnamed players testing positive prior to this week’s game. They also have a negative history in Tigres’ home stadium, Estadio Universitario. They might however take advantage of Tigres’ goalkeeping woes but it also as likely that they will suffer, with attackers like Andre Pierre Gignac, Leo Fernandez, Luis Quiñones and Eduardo Vargas all looking well for this Saturday. Pumas might step up but it will be Tigres who should be heavily favored to end the last undefeated record in Liga MX.