Monterrey (Mexico), Sep 22 (IANS) Tigres UANL will square off on Sunday against crosstown arch-rival Monterrey in Matchday 10 of 17 action in the Mexican league’s Apertura championship, a contest with clear playoff implications.
The latest edition of the so-called Clasico Regiomontano will be played at Tigres’ Estadio Universitario in the Monterrey suburb of San Nicolas de los Garza and pit a UANL team that is in seventh place with 14 points and a Monterrey club that is one spot ahead with 16 points, just four behind league-leading Cruz Azul, reports Efe news.
It comes at a time when the home team is on a high after defeating Toronto FC on Wednesday night to win the inaugural Campeones Cup.
For Monterrey, the wounds remain fresh after its loss to Tigres in the final of last season’s Apertura, a championship that the Rayados dominated nearly from start-to-finish before succumbing to their arch-rival at the last hurdle.
Neither team’s performance has been as strong thus far in this season’s Apertura, although a win on Sunday could be the spark that leads to berth in the eight-team playoffs and a run at the title.
Monterrey is more rested but got a setback on Friday when it learned that Uruguayan right winger Jonathan Urretavizcaya has suffered a serious knee injury that will require surgery.
Tigres’ attack will be led by Frenchman Andre-Pierre Gignac, the second-leading scorer in this season’s Apertura.
Monterrey will be relying on Colombians Dorlan Pabon and Aviles Hurtado and Argentine Rogelio Funes Mori to make up for Urretavizcaya’s absence.
Matchday 10 kicked off with Club America’s 3-2 win over Puebla and a scoreless draw between Morelia and Pumas on Friday and will continue Saturday with four games: Toluca-Necaxa, Leon-Lobos BUAP, Cruz Azul-Atlas and Tijuana-Pachuca.
Besides the Tigres UANL-Monterrey clash, the most anticipated match-up of Matchday 10, Guadalajara will host Queretaro and Santos Laguna will welcome Veracruz on Sunday.