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Match preview: Pumas vs Leon

The rematch of the 2021 Apertura final will have both teams far from the levels they showed last December.

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Pumas UNAM v Leon - Final Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

The rematch of the last finals come early and with both team struggling as Pumas hosts reigning Liga MX champions Leon. Pumas will try to bounce back after losing three of their last four games, while Leon will try to stop a two game losing streak on Sunday. Pumas might have the good news of the possible return of Juan Ignacio Dinenno, but they might not be favored against a Leon team with a better squad.

After getting to the last Liga MX final, Pumas’ season has been a disappointment. It was however totally predictable after Pumas sold their best player Carlos Gonzalez to Tigres. Without any signings, Pumas had a good start with a tie away to Tijuana and a home win against Mazatlan. Unfortunately in that match, they lost Juan Ignacio Dinenno to injury and started to spiral out of control. Without their striker, Pumas started to suffer not only losing games but failing to even get shots on goal. This led to signing Panamanian striker Gabriel Torres, but he will need time to adapt to the league. Pumas has the good news that Dinenno has gotten back to training with the team and might play, although his substitute Emanuel Montejano had a knock and will probably miss the match. Still Pumas will have a tough task against a Leon team who is closer to the team that played the final than a Pumas without Carlos Gonzalez.

Leon has been suffering from a case of “campeonitis”. The term mostly goes to team who suffer the next season after winning a title, probably because of the after effects of celebrating winning a title. Although Leon added striker Victor Davila to the team after the final, it’s been a lack of goals that has hampered the team. Although injuries also hurt the team, with them missing a lot key players like Fernando Navarro and Angel Mena. Yet both are back on the team as well as William Tesillo, who missed the last game because of red card suspension. Thus although Leon is struggling, they will probably favored on Sunday as they have the better squad and the closer path to finally “click” although at 12:00 PM in the altitude and heat of Mexico City, it might not be an ideal time for them to do so.

Game: Club Universidad Nacional A.C. vs. Club León

Date: Sunday, February 21st

Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern, 12:00 p.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Pacific, 6:00 p.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Olímpico Universitario (Ciudad de México, CDMX)

Referees: REF: Marco Antonio Ortiz Nava, AR1: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala, AR2: Karen Janett Díaz Medina, 4TH: Alejandro Funk Villafañe, VAR: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo, AVAR: Gerardo Martínez Bravo

Television: United States -TUDN, Univision, ESPN Deportes; Mexico - TUDN, Las Estrellas; Argentina - Las Estrellas; Croatia - Arena Sport 3

Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling TV (Free trial + monthly subscription), TUDN En Vivo, ESPN+, Vidgo (Free trial + monthly subscription)