The Clasico Joven between Club America and Cruz Azul will decide which team finishes the weekend as the top team in Liga MX. With just three weeks remaining, it will give the winner the inside track to the Superlider spot and home-field advantage throughout the Liguilla.
The Estadio Azteca, now both teams' home stadium after Cruz Azul's move there this summer, will be the site for a No. 1 vs. No. 2 clash that will have major repercussions for the rest of the tournament.
|Game||Cruz Azul vs Club America|
|Date||Saturday, October 27|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States, 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 Network||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Cruz Azul players|
|Goalkeepers||Corona, Allison, Pelaez|
|Defenders||Aguilar, Dominguez, Lichnovsky, Flores, Aldrete, Sanchez, Maduena, Silva|
|Midfielders||Salas, Montoya, Hernandez, Mendez, Dominguez, Mena, Baca, Marcone, Alvarado|
|Forwards||Cauteruccio, Caraglio, Renteria, Zuniga|
Cruz Azul has a shorter turnaround than America in this contest, coming off a win over Leon on penalty kicks in the Copa MX semifinal earlier this week. While the final comes on Oct. 31, Pedro Caixinha isn't going to put out a weakened lineup in a rivalry game against the league leader.
Cruz Azul right back Gerry Flores is out with an injury. Forward Milton Caraglio was kept out of last week's league match as a precaution for the Copa MX contest but wasn't fit for that match either. Misael Domínguez will join up with the Mexico U-20s after the contest.
Potential Cruz Azul XI: Corona; Maduena, Dominguez, Aguilar, Aldrete; Baca, Marcone, Alvarado; Menez, Cauteruccio, Hernandez
|Position||Club America players|
|Goalkeepers||Marchesin, Jimenez, Estrada|
|Defenders||Vargas, Sanchez, Alvarez, Reyes, Valdez, Aguilera, Aguilar, Torres, Leon, Zamora|
|Midfielders||Rodriguez, Menez, Uribe, Dominguez, Ibarguen, Corona, Arce, Insaurralde, Lainez, Lopez, Moreno, Garcia, Ibarra, Rodriguez, Aguilar|
|Forwards||Martinez, Martin, Peralta, Gonzalez|
Diego Lainez and Carlos Vargas are traveling with the Mexico U-20 team to take part in the Concacaf Championships, which serve as a qualifier for next year's U-20 World Cup, but will leave just after Saturday's contest.
Oribe Peralta, Andres Ibarguen, Emmanuel Aguilera and Cecilio Dominguz all had been on the injured list recently but participated in full training this week. Jeremy Menez is still sidelined for the rest of the tournament.
Potential America XI: Marchesin; Aguilar, Valdez, Aguilera, Sanchez; Uribe, Rodriguez; Ibarra, Lainez, Ibarguen; Martinez
Too often in recent years the Clasico Joven has been a top team against an outmatched one (usually America on top with Cruz Azul being outmatched). Former America sporting director Ricardo Pelaez's summer rebuild of Cruz Azul has worked out, though, and now with just four weeks left in the regular season Cruz Azul sits one point behind league leader Club America.
They've done it with one of the league's best defenses, allowing just 11 goals through 13 contests. Even though the attack has cooled off since Elias Hernandez and Roberto Alvarado were ripping up fullbacks at the start of the season, manager Pedro Caixinha is getting decent showings out of his squad, though last week's 2-0 loss to Queretaro in which the Gallos Blancos notched two goals in the final five minutes of the match created frustration.
La Maquina bounced back by moving into the Copa MX finals during the week with a semifinal win over Leon and would be feeling just fine if they could get the better of their rival and move back to the league's summit.
America will have something to say about that. Las Aguilas have made a mockery of the pundits' predictions before the season that they'd have trouble finding the back of the next. They're average more than two goals a match and have scored a dozen goals in the last five matches.
The scoring has been spread around, with plenty of defenders in the mix as well as players like winger Andres Ibarguen, but teenage midfielder Diego Lainez also has to get some credit for the role he has played in setting up goals, not to mention the stunner he hit to cap a 3-0 thrashing of Tijuana last week.
The contest profiles to be a thrilling match to watch, with two of the top teams in the Apertura jockeying for playoff position ahead of a potential rematch in the latter rounds.
Perhaps the biggest shame of all is that the Azteca pitch continues to be in horrendous condition, and the surface is unlikely to be the type that a No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle in the country's most historic stadium deserves.