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The Week 9 fixtures in Mexico this weekend are dominated by one tie – Tigres UANL vs Monterrey in the Clasico Regiomontano.
Mexico prepares for Week 9 and the Clasico Regiomontano
09/18/2015
 
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By Dan Price


The Week 9 fixtures in Mexico this weekend are dominated by one tie – Tigres UANL vs Monterrey in the Clasico Regiomontano.


Tigres UANL vs Monterrey (Saturday, 8pm EDT)

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Tigres’ game also earned top billing in Week 8 when they travelled to Mexico City to face America in the Azteca. 


That match finished in controversial circumstances as a dismal refereeing performance became the main talking point. Fans will be hoping for a purer footballing event on Saturday night.


Outside of the Super Clasico between America and Chivas, this is arguably the most hotly contested game on the calendar.


Monterrey is a two-team city and the entire place will come to a standstill on Saturday night. Club loyalties will transcend family loyalties, and the eventual winners will hold the sweet bragging rights until the return game next spring.


On the pitch, it is Tigres who currently hold the momentum. They’ve won their last four outings, including last weekend’s 1-0 win over America, and have powered up to fifth in the league after a their Copa Libertadores-affected poor start.


Monterrey are winless in three. In two of those games they have only managed to claim disappointing draws at home against the sides that are currently in the bottom two places in the league – Cruz Azul and Santos Laguna.


Tigres also hold the recent head-to-head advantage. You have to go back to April 2013 to find the last time Monterrey won a regular season game against their bitter rivals.


Prediction: Tigres 2-0 Monterrey

Chivas vs Queretaro (Sunday, 6pm EDT)

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Chivas are once again a club in crisis.


Owner Jorge Vergara’s reign at the historic side has been one long soap opera, with the most recent instalment seeing club president Nestor de la Torre being forced to sack his brother Chepo from the manager’s role.


Chepo’s replacement is the little-known Argentine Matias Almeyda, with the 40 year old becoming Chivas’ 28th manager since 2002. Plucked from the obscurity of the second tier of the Argentinian league system, he hardly seems like a man to instil confidence in a side that’s facing an even bigger existential crisis than they were last 

season.


His opening game was a midweek tie at home to Morelia in the Copa MX. They lost 1-0 thanks to a 74th minute Carlos Ochoa winner, and are looking increasingly unlikely to progress to the next phase of the competition.


They come up against a Queretaro side who are desperate to find some form. Los Gallos Blancos have only won one of their last seven league games, though Thursday’s 8-0 win over Hankook Verdes in the CONCACAF 

Champions League will have put the side in a more positive mind-set.


Prediction: Chivas 1-2 Queretaro

Cruz Azul vs Pumas UNAM (Saturday, 6pm EDT)

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The Mexico City derby between Cruz Azul and Pumas takes on extra significance this season due to the respective league positions of the two.


Pumas top the table and look in the best shape they’ve been in at any point over the last four seasons, while Cruz Azul sit dead last and look in the worst shape that they’ve been in for a long time.


If Cruz Azul’s form doesn’t improve quickly, it can only be a matter of time until Sergio Bueno’s role as boss of La Máquina becomes untenable – especially with former El Tri managers Miguel Herrera and Chepo de la Torre both available.


A win for Pumas could put them nine points clear of the Liguilla cut-off, and would be a huge step towards a place in the post-season.


Prediction: Cruz Azul 1-1 Pumas UNAM

 
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