Beginning with two games on Friday, Week 4 play in the Liga MX Clausura 2014 season will see Queretaro host Santos Laguna and Xolos de Tijuana host Monarcas Morelia. While both of these games are of some intrigue, neither of them draw the same as the Saturday contest that will see Tigres UANL host Pumas UNAM in the ‘Clasico Universitario’.
Both university teams come into the Week 4 contest having only one point out of the first three games, with both needing a win in league play in order to settle things around their respective teams. Both teams won midweek Copa MX games at home and will be looking to use those wins as a jumping off point to kick start their league season. Losing on Saturday will only increase the pressure.
Tigres come into the game with a draw at home against Pachuca as their lone positive result so far this season and to top it off, they have failed to score a goal in league play. The inept Tigres attack has led to talk of whether or not coach Ricardo ‘Tuca’ Ferretti has reached the end of his run with Tigres.
That said, he and the faithful Tigres fans will be hoping that the 6-1 win over Atletico San Luis on Wednesday in Copa MX play can be the catalyst to spark the attack.
As for Pumas, the team came into the week on the heels of a 2-0 loss to Toluca and staring at the prospect that the sporting director and coach Jose Luis Trejo could be shown the door had they not won on Tuesday 3-0 in Copa MX play. That said, the team will need to show much improved play as it has failed to look like a coherent team on offense and at times on defense.
Unlike Tigres, who look closer to potentially overcoming their early season struggles, Pumas still appear far away as they are dealing with a relegation zone fight.
The player to keep an eye on in this game will be Tigres forward Alan Pulido, who received his first call-up to the Mexican National Team on Thursday. He has established himself as the out-and-out starting forward for Tigres and although he has yet to find the back of the net in league play, he scored twice on in midweek Copa MX play.
If his teammates are able to do a more consistent job of getting Pulido the ball in space, he will find himself troubling the Pumas’ defense regularly on Saturday night. That should help Tigres win a game before facing their biggest rival in Week 5.