Tigres host to Monterrey in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League final at the Estadio Universitario on Tuesday in what promises to be the most important Clasico Regiomontano ever.
Both clubs qualified comfortably for the showpiece, with Tigres scoring the first five goals of their tie against Santos Laguna before their opponents rallied late to get the aggregate score back to 5-3. Monterrey, meanwhile, routed Sporting Kansas City 10-2 over two matches.
Having been the runners-up in both 2016 and 2017, Tigres are aiming to go one better this time around but must overcome the three-time winners of the tournament in order to finally get their name on the trophy.
|Game||Tigres UANL vs Monterrey|
|Date||Tuesday, April 23|
|Time||3:00am BST (Wednesday) / 10:00pm EST|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|Univision Deportes||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be available to watch on TV or stream.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Tigres UANL players|
|Goalkeepers||Guzman, Fernandez, Ortega|
|Defenders||Salcedo, Ayala, Meza, Tercero, Sanchez, Venegas, J. Torres Nilo, Diaz, Jimenez|
|Midfielders||Cerna, Reyes, Pizarro, Rafael Carioca, Duenas, R. Torres, Zelarayan, Cruz|
|Forwards||Aquino, L. Quinones, Damm, Vargas, Valencia, Gignac|
Andre-Pierre Gignac made his return from injury after six weeks on the sidelines and the club’s top scorer will lead the line, although it is debatable if he is ready for 90 minutes so quickly after playing the full match last weekend.
Carlos Salcedo has been rested recently but looks set to return to the starting XI. Winger Julian Quiones and right back Luis "Chaka" Rodriguez are both out.
Possible Tigres starting XI: Guzman; Duenas, Salcedo, Meza, J. Torres Nilo; Carioca, Pizarro; Aquino, Vargas, L. Quinones; Gignac
|Goalkeepers||Barovero, Cardenas, Resendez|
|Defenders||Sanchez, Vasquez, Vangioni, Medina, Layun, Gutierrez|
|Midfielders||Ortiz, Rodriguez, Meza, Pizarro|
|Forwards||Gallardo, Hurtado, Pabon, Funes Mori, Zaldivar, Bareiro|
Monterrey’s selection is complicated by a suspension for Cesar Montes, meaning that right-back Stefan Medina is likely to be asked to play in the middle of the defence. Diego Alonso's biggest decision is at left-back where he'll opt either for Leonel Vangioni or go with the more attacking-minded Jesus Gallardo.
Captain Jose Maria Basanta, Jonathan Gonzalez, Arturo Gonzalez and Jonathan Urretaviscaya are out.
Possible Monterrey starting XI: Barovero; Layun, Medina, Sanchez, Vangioni; Ortiz, Rodriguez; Pabon, Pizarro, Hurtado; Funes Mori
Betting & Match Odds
Tigres are 6/5 favourites to win the first leg with bet365. Monterrey can be backed at 23/10, while the draw is an identical price.
Mexican sides have met seven times in the last 10 Concacaf Champions League finals, so the prospect of two more of Liga MX’s finest going head to head is no surprise in 2019’s showpiece, yet additional flavour is added to the event as it will be played out between crosstown rivals Tigres and Monterrey.
Both sides come into this match bearing scars. Tigres have twice suffered defeats in Champions League finals, while their opponents are still wounded from a 2-1 defeat in the final of the 2017 Apertura, which saw them lose the tie 3-2 on aggregate and leaves them still chasing their first major title since moving to their Estadio BBVA Bancomer home in 2015 - a loss that has helped to see them branded as perennial runners-up.
Tuca Ferretti’s side come into this tie undefeated in their last 10 Champions League home matches, dating back to a 2016 loss against America – the only time they have suffered a defeat at El Volcan in the history of the competition.
The weight of their previous defeats in finals does not hang too heavy on the club, Feretti has argued.
“Here the word 'obligation' isn't the right one. I think 'ambition' is the word,“ Ferretti said. "We have the ambition to achieve something and get us out of this unfortunate situation, and they also do with not having been able to achieve anything in their new stadium. Which of the two? Wednesday we'll see who achieves the final objective."
They face a Monterrey side one point better off than them in Liga MX Clausura standings and with more winning history in continental competition.
Indeed, coach Diego Alonso is billing his sides as favourites and is openly seeking revenge for that fateful defeat in 2017.
“We’ve been waiting for this match for a year and a half,” the Uruguayan said. “With the opportunity that we now have, we can take advantage of it.”
“This team can become champions and can celebrate it in front of our fans. It’s a game of great importance and we know what it represents.
“The chance of making history is in our hands.”
The importance of the Clasico Regio is about to reach new heights.