A pair of playoff teams from the previous tournament meet Saturday as Monterrey welcomes Leon to Estadio BBVA Bancomer.
Monterrey is riding high after topping Chivas 2-1 last weekend.
Leon, on the other hand, was handed an embarrassing 4-0 defeat at home to Necaxa.
|Game||Monterrey vs. Leon|
|Date||Saturday, Feburary 3|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Stream (US only)||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.
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Gonzalez, Carrizo, Resendez|
|Defenders||Montes, Basanta, Sanchez, Portales, Vasquez, Alvarez, Vangioni, Velarde, Medina, Juarez|
|Midfielders||Molina, Ortiz, Zavala, J. Gonzalez, Amaya, Sanchez, A. Gonzalez, Urretaviscaya, Hurtado|
|Forwards||Funes Mori, Pabon, Benitez, Villa, Cruz|
Midfielders Jesus Molina and Jonathan Gonzalez were involved in Mexico's friendly win over Bosnia & Herzegovina, while Cesar Montes was called into the team but didn't see time. Jose Maria Basanta missed out on Monterrey's match with Chivas because of an injury but could return Saturday.
Potential starting XI: Gonzalez; Medina, Montes, Basanta, Vangioni; J. Gonzalez, Ortiz; Pabon, A. Gonzalez, Hurtado; Funes Mori
|Defenders||Burdisso, Piris, Navarro, Torres, Herrera, Cornejo, Rodriguez, Mosquera, Gonzalez|
|Midfielders||Burbano, Hernandez, Montes, Andrade, Mejia, Cecchini, Lainez, Cerato, Rodriguez|
|Forwards||Ramos, Boselli, Gonzalez, Barnes, Donovan|
Manager Gustavo Diaz asked for patience with Landon Donovan during the week and the now un-retired U.S. great will not make his debut Saturday. Giles Barnes and Emanuel Cecchini also are unlikely to make their Leon debuts as they work through fitness issues.
Potential starting XI: Yarbrough; Navarro, Mosquera, Gonzalez, Cornejo; Mejia, Rodriguez; Hernandez, Montes, Andrade; Boselli
Monterrey looks to go back to the top of the table with a win over Leon on Saturday.
Of course, no team knows how little that means more than Monterrey, which twice in the Antonio Mohamed era has run away with the regular season only to fall in the Liga MX final.
Still, after the pain of December's defeat at the hands of rival Tigres, wresting the top spot back from Pumas would be good for morale in La Sultana del Norte.
Morale there is higher than it is in Leon, though. After a positive start to the campaign, Leon was thrashed by Necaxa 4-0 at home last weekend.
Necaxa, typically a defensive team, controlled the possession for the majority of the match and Leon had no answer for players like Dieter Villalpando and Carlos Gonzalez. That's bad news, with attackers of higher quality in Rogelio Funes Mori and Aviles Hurtado to cope with this week.
The reinforcements aren't ready either, with Landon Donovan, Giles Barnes and Emanuel Cecchini still working on getting to top fitness and fitting in with the team.
Whether manager Gustavo Diaz rolls with the same side and asks his players simply to do better or makes tweaks to the XI that seemed established will be a closely scrutinized decision.
For Rayados, Mohamed has shaken things up by inserting Alfonso "Poncho" Gonzalez into the starting lineup and bringing Uruguayan winger Carlos Sanchez off the bench. That has the team playing out of a 4-2-3-1 instead of the 4-3-3 it used on the way to last year's final.
Mohamed also will have to see how his players who missed most of the week with the Mexico national team fare. Midfielders Jesus Molina and Jonathan Gonzalez played reasonable amounts of minutes and may be able to feature Saturday. Center back Cesar Montes didn't feature for El Tri but was a part of Juan Carlos Osorio's squad.
Monterrey rarely loses at home — only Tigres and Morelia have come out of the Estadio BBVA Bancomer in league play with a win in the last year — so Leon certainly has its work cut out.