Struggling Leones Negros welcome Club Leon to Guadalajara on Sunday afternoon for their Week 6 fixture in the Mexican Apertura championship.
Kickoff in the Estadio Jalisco is scheduled for 6:00pm EST / 3:00pm PST on August 24th. The game will be broadcast live in the USA on Univision Deportes Network.
Leones Negros have endured a difficult start to life back in the top division of Mexican football. Three defeats and a draw have left them with a solitary point from their opening four fixtures, and they are firmly rooted to the foot of the table. Like several of the sides in the bottom half they have struggled for goals, only scoring once in the league so far. That goal came on their opening day 3-1 defeat to Monterrey courtesy of Argentinian Andres Rios.
They have fared little better in the Copa MX. Two 0-0 draws with Mineros de Zacatecas in their first two fixtures failed to distract the fans from their league troubles, but at least 1-0 win over Dorados de Sinaloa on Tuesday night finally gave them a win in a competitive match. It was their first since a 1-0 victory against Alebrijes de Oaxaca in the semi-final of the Ascenso MX’s Clausura Liguilla in April, and something they will hope to build on this weekend.
Back-to-back champions Club Leon have also struggled to find their best form this season, though two wins from their last three league games and a 4-2 win over Isidro Metapan in the CONCACAF Champions League suggests a corner might have been turned. Nonetheless, a confidence-bruising 6-0 loss to Spanish side Barcelona in a friendly on Tuesday night will have taken its toll - especially after a 20-hour round trip on a plane - and it remains to be seen how much jet-lag will be a factor this weekend.
Leon have the curious distinction of having the league’s second strongest attack but joint-worst defence. They have found the back of the net eleven times already (only Club America (thirteen) have a better record), but have shipped ten at the other end (level with Chiapas). The six-goal mauling by Barcelona suggests that defensive problems are ongoing; Gustavo Matosas knows finding a solution is vital if they are to challenge for a third consecutive title.
Leon will be without long-term absentee Luis Montes but are otherwise likely to name an unchanged eleven from the side which beat Pumas 2-1 in Week 5. Leones Negros will be missing the suspended Diego Campos who was dismissed for two bookable offences in the 70th minute of last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Atlas.
The two sides last faced each other in February 2012 when they were both still playing in the Ascenso - the game ended 0-0. Leon’s last win in this fixture was a 2-0 victory in February 2011, whereas Leones Negros last win came from a 1-0 win in August 2010.