BRIAN SCIARETTA - Thursday, March 3, 2011
Isaac Acuna will try to make it three goals in three games when Gallos Blancos travel to Apertura champions Monterrey while only a win will do for Jose Francsico Torres and Herculez Gomez's Pachuca against Estudiantes.
Estudiantes - Pachuca
Jose Francisco Torres and Herculez Gomez head to the Jalisco area of Guadalajara to take on Estudiantes in Friday night action at Estadio Tres de Marzo.
Torres started and went the distance last weekend while Gomez sat and watched from the bench as the Tuzos floundered to a scoreless draw at home versus San Luis.
Week nine of the Clausura offers another opportunity at redemption and three points will be there for the taking against an Estudiantes club that has been downright atrocious of late.
Losers of their last four, Estudinates have allowed 13 goals in those defeats including a 'manita', or five goals, last week at Pumas.
Americans Daniel Antunez and Sammy Ochoa are unlikely to feature for the hosts. Antunez is injured while Ochoa has fallen out of favor with head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola.
In addition to Antunez, Estudiantes will be missing Jorge Zamogilny and Juan Carlos Leano due to injury while Gustavo Cabral is suspended.
Pachuca will field a full squad.
Monterrey - Gallos Blancos
Isaac Acuna and Gallos Blancos get geared up to take on another big opponent when they travel to Monterrey to battle the reigning Apertura champions on Saturday at Estadio Tecnologico.
It would be shocking to not see Acuna in the starting 11 for Gallos Blancos as the Californian attacking midfielder has been nothing short of brilliant in the last two matches.
Two weeks ago he scored his first ever Mexican Primera Division goal in a 0-2 upset at Santos which he then followed up with a 35 yard golazo last week against Cruz Azul that saw Gallos Blancos pick up another crucial point.
A visit to Monterrey will be another stern test for the Queretaro-based club that needs to accrue as many points as possible to avoid relegation.
The Gallos Blancos defense will at least not have to contend with the Rayados' star striker Humberto 'El Chupete' Suazo.
The Chilean is sidelined with a shoulder injury leaving strike partner Aldo De Nigris without his normal partner in crime.
In eight visits to 'El Tec', Gallos Blancos have never come away with all three points so another top-tier effort from Acuna will be necessary if Gallos Blancos want cement their place in the Primera Division.
In addition to Suazo, Monterrey will also be without Osvaldo Martínez who is suspended, plus Ricardo Osorio and Darío Carreño through injury.
Gallos Blancos will be without Raul Ferro and Gabino Velasco due to suspension.
Jonathan Bornstein will hope to see some minutes off the bench for red-hot Tigres who face Chivas.
Defender Edgar Castillo is likely to start Puebla's Sunday contest versus Atlas on the bench.