Club America visit ‘El Volcán’ tonight as they face Tigres on the road after a tough loss at home to Pachuca last Saturday. A win tonight is crucial for América who have struggled this season and are fighting to get back into the top four. Meanwhile, Tigres currently sit 2nd in the league table and a win will help them remain in that position, but exhaustion can play a factor tonight seeing as they played a midweek CONCACAF Champions League match a few days ago.
The Azulcremas had their worst defeat of the season last week. They were down three goals by the 30th minute and there was no coming back from that. The horrid officiating did play a role in the game, but it affected both sides and America had chances to attempt a comeback, but fell apart once the third goal happened.
It was announced that both Alejandro Zendejas and Brian Rodríguez would make the trip to Monterrey and possibly see minutes. Both players have been out due to injury, with Zendejas having been out for a few weeks. Leo Suarez has done an excellent job in covering for Zendejas, but there is no doubt the Mexican-American has been missed and could play a crucial role in tonight’s match-up.
Another big surprise was the confirmation from head coach ‘Tano’ Ortiz that Luis Ángel Malagón will be starting over Óscar Jiménez. Jiménez had made mistakes over the season, but not as bad as last week with two of those contributing directly to two of the three goals. While it’s a positive sign to see Ortiz make a change after a disastrous game, new questions will arise if Malagon isn’t the savior fans were hoping for.
Tigres will welcome América at home during a tough stretch of games. They faced Necaxa and Orlando City in a span of a few days, play America tonight, then face Orlando again midweek, only to meet Monterrey in the Clásico Regio a few days after that. That’s a lot of games in a short period of time and player rotation will be a key factor for head coach ‘Chima’ Ruiz. Thankfully, they have André-Pierre Gignac back after he was out a few weeks with a leg injury. The French international made an appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League match, but could not help his team win. He might not even be available for the trip to Orlando and that will be a big hit to the team hoping to advance past the Round of 16.
Having Gignac back from injury alongside Nicolas Ibáñez and Diego Lainez will be a big boost for Tigres and a downside for América, whose defense has struggled doing just that, defending. With the possibility of having their starting player back in the lineup and a new player in goal, tonight is a big night for América who need the win. Fans have already turned on Óscar Jiménez for last week’s loss; who’s next to take the blame if they don’t win tonight? If they do win however, they won’t have to find out.
Time: 7:10 PM PT/9:10 PM CT/10:10 PM ET
Venue: Estadio Universitario, ‘El Volcán’, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León
TV: USA - ESPN2, FuboTV (free trial), TUDN, ESPN APP / MEX - Canal 5, TUDN