Mexican clubs have historically dominated the CONCACAF Champions League, and we will see a team from Liga MX crowned champions for the 14th straight season on Wednesday. Monterrey are looking to win their fourth Champions League title this decade after threepeating from 2011 to 2013. Meanwhile, UANL are looking to win their first Champions League title after finishing runner-up to America in 2016 and Pachuca in 2017. There will be enormous bragging rights at stake as these teams are not just from the same league, but from the same city as well, and the Clasico Regiomontano derby is always a spicy affair.
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CF Monterrey vs UANL Tigres
- Date and Time: May 1, 2019, 10 p.m. ET
- Location: Estadio BBVA Bancomer, Monterrey, Mexico
- US Television Coverage: Univision Deportes and Yahoo Sports
- Betting Line: CF Monterrey PK and -0.5, O/U 2 and 2.5
The first leg of the Champions League final was played last week, and Monterrey have an enormous advantage heading into the second leg. They beat UANL Tigres 1-0 and notched a crucial away goal in the process. Nico Sanchez played great throughout and hit the post just minutes before heading home the lone goal off of a corner kick for Monterrey.
Monterrey have three long-term injuries to note in Jose Maria Basanta, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, and Arturo Gonzalez. The latter two have been out for over six months, while Basanta suffered a season-ending hip injury a few weeks ago. Fortunately, fellow center back Cesar Montes is no longer suspended, so Monterrey will have a more familiar starting back line on Wednesday.
The bigger injuries are on the side of Tigres. Star forward Andre-Pierre Gignac has played sparingly over the last couple months, and he was unable to start in the first leg. He was brought in as a sub, but manager Ricardo Ferretti will likely use him as a starter with so much at stake here. Chaka Rodriguez will return to action after being suspended for the first leg due to yellow card accumulation.
Matchup to Watch
Tigres have to do something to create offense after being shut out at home in the first leg. Gignac clearly isn’t 100 percent, so it’s hard to put the onus on him, so others will need to lead the charge./p>
Enner Valencia, Eduardo Vargas, and Julian Quinones are the trio that will be tasked to create up front for Tigres. We have seen Vargas and Valencia step up in league play recently, but Quinones has been largely absent since notching a brace against UNAM Pumas three weeks ago.
Monterrey have had some trouble in defense this season, and their shutout win in the first leg was a bit of a surprise. This is the same team that allowed Toluca to put in five goals at the start of the month, and Tigres possessed the ball for over 70 percent in the first leg, so Tigres will have their chances.
Both sides rested the overwhelming majority of their starters in Liga MX action over the weekend in a bid to have their sides as rested as possible with Champions League glory on the line.
I see this one being higher scoring than the first leg between these two teams. Monterrey will not be as aggressive as they were in the first leg, and they will pick and choose the spots to go forward. A Monterrey first half goal will put the onus on Tigres, and they will start to push on heavily leading to this one going over the total. I think Monterrey will do enough to claim their fourth Champions League title.
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