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Who to pick in the Clasico Regio?
Heading into the famous crosstown rivalry, Monterrey have shaken off some of their mid-season rust with a 4-1 Concacaf Champions League victory on Thursday night against Cruz Azul.
As for Tigres, they’ll have a little more energy after having a week off since their 2-2 draw against Leon.
These rivalry matches tend to always be very close, but the difference here could be the travel that Monterrey have had to make, along with their fairly underwhelming start to the season.
Anything can happen in these local skirmishes, but the away side should get the three points.
The argument could be made that the Clasico Regio is the top rivalry in Mexican soccer.
Sure, the Clasico Nacional between Chivas and Club America features the country’s most successful and popular teams, but that said, the Clasico Regio deserves some serious credit.
In recent years, no Liga MX clubs have packed their rosters with more world-class talent than either Monterrey or Tigres.
That, coupled with arguably the most passionate fans in Mexico, creates an amazing atmosphere for every Clasico Regio.
The Estadio BBVA will have a limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions, but nonetheless, it’ll easily be the place to be this Liga MX weekend.
And whoever is in attendance, they’ll likely have front-row seats for what could be an eye-catching Tigres away win.
With the amount of talent that manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera has at his disposal, one can forgive him for occasionally giving breaks to his star players.
Most notably in their recent draw with Leon, Nico “Diente” Lopez was left on the bench.
Lopez is not only a key figure, but someone who collected six goals in his last four appearances.
And after being left out of the last match, Lopez should have more than enough energy to bounce back and be an attacking catalyst for Tigres on Sunday.
What matters more? Earning a place in the Concacaf Champions League final, or, prioritizing a league game against your bitter rival?
For Monterrey manager Javier Aguirre, it appears as though the former is more important than the latter.
With a fairly strong XI, Monterrey demolished Cruz Azul 4-1 on Thursday and thereby earned a place in this year’s Concacaf Champions League final.
It was a significant win for the team, but after taking part in the Mexico City battle, they’ll now need to head back north to prepare for another intense match just three days later.
Also, at time of writing, there are no reports regarding the status of starter Duvan Vergara, who suffered an injury during the match against Cruz Azul.
When it comes to scoring for striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, it’s not a matter of if, it’s when.
The 35-year-old returned to Tigres’ XI last week after taking part in the Olympics, and with no goal to his name against Leon, the league’s top talent should be more than eager to score against Monterrey.
Gignac doesn’t tend to go long periods of time without a goal, and in a high-profile Clasico Regio that millions will be following, the Frenchmen will have an ideal stage to announce his return to Liga MX play.
|Monterrey vs Tigres Information|
|Teams||Monterrey vs Tigres|
|Location||Estadio BBVA (Monterrey, Mexico)|
|Time||Sunday, September 19th at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||FS2|
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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