Tigres UANL Favorites to Lift Copa MX Trophy 

by Daniel Price on Apr.08.2014
  1. By Daniel Price

    Date: Wednesday 9th April

    Location: Estadio Universitario, Monterrey

    Kickoff: 9pm CDT

    Referee: Jorge Isaac Rojas

    Liga MX side Tigres UANL face Ascenso MX club Alebrijes de Oaxaca in the Copa MX Final on Wednesday night in Monterrey.

    Tigres are the competition’s top scorers, racking up an impressive 29 goals in eight games. They boast the competition’s two top scorers in Alan Pulido (eight goals) and Emmanuel Herrera (six goals) and they go into the final as heavy favorites.

    The game is widely being billed as a battle between the rich and the poor. Tigres are regarded as having the most valuable squad in the country – around €23 million – whereas Alebrijes squad has an approximate value of a mere €2.5 million.

    On the pitch, both sides have enjoyed an entertaining run to the final. Tigres overcame Puebla, Correcaminos UAT, and Atletico San Luis to top Group Two. They progressed undefeated and inflicted a Copa MX record 8-0 win on Puebla in the process. Alebrijes topped Group Three, losing only once in a group that contained Chiapas, Veracruz and Lobos de la BUAP.

    The two sides occupied first and second place in the ‘Championship Classification’, meaning they both played their quarter-final and semi-final at their home grounds. Tigres beat Atlante 6-0 and Veracruz 3-0, whilst Alebrijes beat Queretaro 2-1 in the quarter-finals before scoring a remarkable 89th minute winner in their 3-2 semifinal victory over Pachuca.

    Tigres’ Copa MX form has been in sharp contrast to their Liga MX form. The Monterrey club currently lie in thirteenth place in the general classification and look unlikely to reach the end-of-season Liguilla. Alebrijes have also endured an inconsistent 2014. The side failed to win a game until early March, but fourteen points from a possible eighteen has catapulted them up the table and they now occupy seventh place, the last of the Ascenso’s playoff places.

    After receiving considerable criticism in the 2013 Apertura Copa MX for fielding a weakened side against Monterrey in the quarterfinal, Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti has consistently named a strong starting eleven throughout the tournament, and is unlikely to change this philosophy for the final. Similarly, the Alebrijes team that won the semi-final against Pachuca saw just three changes for the following weekend’s league fixture against Lobos de la BUAP and they are also likely to field their strongest available side.

    There is extra incentive for both sides with a place in the 2015 Copa Libertadores up for grabs. The winner of this game will participate in a playoff against 2013 Apertura Copa MX winners Morelia for the right to rub shoulders with South America’s finest next January.

    Both sides go into the game in good form after winning their respective games at the weekend. Tigres beat Atlante 2-0 in Cancun and Alebrijes travelled to Club Zacatepec 1948 to record a 3-1 win.

    Possible Line-Ups:

    Tigres UANL:

    20 Sergio Garcia

    3 Juninho

    4 Hugo Ayala

    6 Jorge Torres

    8 Hernan Burbano

    18 Jose Torres

    19 Guido Pizarro

    30 Carlos Salcido

    9 Emanuel Herrera

    10 Danilinho

    17 Alan Pulido

    Alebrijes de Oaxaca:

    1 Sergio Arias

    4 Arturo Javier Ledesma

    5 Braulio Godinez Duran

    25 Melchor Cerda Orozco

    32 Eduardo Chavez Hernandez

    6 Fernando Madrigal Gonzalez

    15 Diego Martinez Soto

    24 Mario Padilla

    7 Raymundo Torres Rangel

    10 Danny Santoya

    11 Jesus Alberto Moreno

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