Almeyda vs. Mohamed, Tigres meets improving Pachuca, America new faces
Potential Mexico managers clash in Guadalajara
If there is to be a change in the Mexican managerial hot seat after the World Cup, then two of the candidates to replace Juan Carlos Osorio will be going toe-to-toe in Guadalajara on Saturday night. Antonio Mohamed takes his Monterrey side to face Matias Almeyda's Chivas, in a battle that pits two Argentine friends with very differing footballing philosophies.
Mohamed's Monterrey are not afraid to be without the ball, to be more direct and hit on counters. In fact, it's the team's preference. There is, perhaps, some overlap with how Mohamed sets up his side and how Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid plays. Almeyda's Chivas, on the other hand, tend to enjoy more possession than the opposition during games and push forward in volume.
Mesh all that together, mix in the fact neither have started the Clausura as well as they would have liked and this should be the game of the weekend in Liga MX.
Almeyda has the upper hand in the rivalry with four wins, one draw and just one loss against Mohamed's Monterrey, although that victory was a 4-1 thrashing last time the teams met last August. -- Tom Marshall
Pachuca seeks to end Tigres' home run
Given that Tigres' last home league defeat was on April 1 last year, Pachuca will not be expected to get much from their visit this weekend. However, their form is on an upward curve; after losing 3-2 to Pumas in Week 1, Los Tuzos claimed a 2-2 draw against Club America at Estadio Azteca and a convincing 3-1 home win over Lobos BUAP.
After that win, coach Diego Alonso said he was pleased with how midfielders Keisuke Honda, Victor Guzman and Jorge "Burrito" Hernandez provided defensive equilibrium, especially in the second half.
Guzman and Hernandez have been called-up by Juan Carlos Osorio for Mexico's friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Jan. 31. Meanwhile, Honda's start to the season has featured three assists and are reason to think he's going to be Pachuca's main playmaker.
Midfielder and captain Erick Gutierrez is scheduled to appear in the 18-man gameday roster and, if he does start, it will be interesting to see where Honda plays. If Alonso can get both men on the same page, Pachuca's attack will only get better.
As for Tigres, Andre-Pierre Gignac didn't start the 0-0 draw vs. Queretaro due to a lack of match fitness but he is likely to be back in the line-up for the Pachuca game. -- Nayib Moran
New faces to feature when America meets Atlas
Following a hyped press conference and -- finally -- the official presentation of signings to fans at the Estadio Azteca, Club America will likely debut at least one of their marquee names against Atlas, who will debut new coach Ruben Omar Romano.
It's expected for America manager Miguel Herrera to use former French international Jeremy Menez or Colombian starlet Andres Ibarguen. Menez dominated Liga MX's news cycle when it was revealed the former PSG and AC Milan player would arrive following a disappointing spell in Turkey. Ibarguen, for his part, is an exciting attacking prospect who impressed for South American giants Atletico Nacional and Racing.
America is hoping either or both will provide a spark of offense in an area that was also addressed over the winter with the signing of former Tijuana attacker Henry Martin, who has registered two goals and been called up by Mexico to face Bosnia.
Atlas is reeling after Jose Guadalupe Cruz was fired following a rough start but Romano, who coached America in 2008, is a coaching veteran called in to help avoid relegation. Picking up points in Mexico City would be an excellent start. -- Eric Gomez