Pumas, however, did get a welcome midweek boost when they thrashed El Salvador´s Metapan 8-0 in the CONCACAF Champions League, with no fewer than six players getting their names on the score-sheet for a team that has only scored nine goals in 10 games in the Primera Division.
The full list of games in Mexico this weekend:
With no big-name replacements brought in, Pumas have been forced to rely on recruits from their youth academy. With no midfielder or forward in the squad aged over 25, they may lack the experience to triumph in a feisty local derby such as this.
“I think it is mandatory to get the three points at home in front our fans, and it’s time to take a step closer to qualification and give a strong blow to Pumas,” added Jesus Molina.
Estudiantes Tecos vs. Morelia (Friday, 10.10 p.m. ET) Queretaro vs. Guadalajara (Saturday, 7 p.m,Steve Smith Panthers Jersey. ET) Cruz Azul vs. Santos Laguna (Saturday, 9 p,Bart Starr Jersey.m. ET) Pachuca vs. Atlante (Saturday,Jimmy Smith Ravens Jersey, 9 p.m. ET) Tigres UANL vs. Tijuana (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET) Atlas vs. Jaguares (Saturday, 10.45 p.m. ET) Toluca vs. Monterrey (Sunday, 2 p,DeSean Jackson Jersey.m. ET) Puebla vs. San Luis (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET) America vs. Pumas (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET)
Traditionally two of Mexico’s “big four,” the clubs have contrasting backgrounds. America is owned by media giantes Televisa, while Pumas is affiliated with the public National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Latin America´s biggest university.
America goes into round 11 of matches in third place, unbeaten in five games and just one point behind Santos Laguna and Morelia at the top of the league.
Historically, Las Aguilas have the edge, having won 41, drawn 48 and lost 29 clasicos against Pumas. America has also won two of the three finals the pair has contested.
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Having lost keys players like talismanic striker Paco Palencia, defensive midfielder Israel Casto and Leandro Augusto from its Clausura 2011 winning team, Pumas languish eight points behind their local rivals in eleventh place, with only an outside chance of making the playoffs.
The rivalry between the two Mexico City sides is considered one the most passionate, and occasionally violent, in the country and security will be tight around the Estadio Azteca.
In-form Club America takes on Pumas UNAM in the passionate Mexico City clasico on Sunday, with las Aguilas favorites for the victory.
The team looks unrecognisable from the one that which finished second-from-bottom in the Apertura 2011, and will sense an opportunity to avenge the 1-0 defeat in last October’s reverse fixture.
On the downside for Pumas, experienced Paraguayan center-back Dario Veron injured his fifth metatarsal and will miss the rest of the season.
“It is forbidden to lose,” said America’s Jose Maria Cardenas ahead of the game,Sean Lee Youth Jersey. “We are focused on staying on top,John Kuhn Jersey, so we expect to win.”