Tigres will start their pursuit of reaching the final of the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) for the fifth time in eight seasons by hosting Club Leon at Estadio Universitario on Wednesday (IST). They made it to the semis after a comfortable 6-0 victory over Motagua, while Los Panzas Verdes secured their place with a 6-2 win over Violette over two legs.
Club Leon has struggled to progress to the quarter-finals of Liga MX Clausura, but they have been performing well in the CCL. Nicolas Larcamon may need to encourage his players to approach domestic fixtures with the same urgency they do in the one and done CCL games.
The Leagues Cup 2021 winners have never made it to the CCL semi-finals, but they have shown gradual improvement each year. They reached the round of 16 in 2020-21, were knocked out in the last eight by eventual winners the Seattle Sounders in the previous season, and this time around they have made it to the final four by eliminating the Haitians.
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Tigres-Club Leon match preview
On Tuesday, Tigres UANL will host Leon at Estadio Universitario for the CONCACAF Champions League. These two teams from Liga MX, who are the only Mexican teams remaining in the tournament, will extend their domestic rivalry to the continental competition. Tigres UANL have won the CONCACAF Champions League once in 2020.
In the quarter finals, Tigres UANL defeated Motagua from Honduras by a 6-0 aggregate scoreline, extending their unbeaten run in the competition to four games. In the Liga MX Clausura, Tigres UANL is in seventh place, with 25-27 points, and is behind Leon in fifth place. In their previous encounter, Leon beat Tigres UANL 1-0.
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Leon has participated in five CONCACAF Champions League tournaments but is still searching for their first title. The team is in high spirits ahead of the semi-finals. In the 2022 edition of the tournament, Leon reached the quarterfinals, which is their best performance to date.
However, Leon is going through a rough patch of form, having drawn and lost twice in their last four games. Like Tigres UANL, Leon has qualified for the Reclassification, which determines the last four teams for the Clausura Liga MX final phase quarter finals.
Tigres possible starting lineup
Guzman; Garza, Lichnovsky, Reyes, Aquino; Gorriaran, Pizarro; Lainez, Lopez, Quinones; Gignac
Club Leon possible starting lineup
Cota; Moreno, Barreiro, Frias, Bellon; Davila, Romero, Angulo, Mena; Rubio, Campbell
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Former French international André-Pierre Gignac has been a standout performer for the hosts, scoring two goals in the tournament and boasting seven goals and two assists in total. Luis Quiñones and Nicolás Ibáñez are also attacking threats, scoring three goals each.
Víctor Dávila, Elias Hernández, and Brian Rubio have all scored two goals each in the current CONCACAF Champions League. Dávila is the leading scorer for the visitors with five goals and two assists in all competitions.
Due to the home advantage, Tigres UANL is expected to come out on top in the first leg against Leon.
Prediction: Tigres UANL 2-1 Leon
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Date, kick-off time, venue
Tigres and Leon will compete against each other in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals at the Estadio Universitarios on April 25. The game will start at 10 pm Eastern Time (ET) and 7 pm Pacific Time (PT).