Welcome back, everyone.
It’s been a while since the Vancouver Whitecaps have faced Tigres UANL, 2017 to be exact, where the Carl Robinson led side was comprehensively defeated 4-1 over two legs in the Champions League. A lot has changed since then, and I think it’s fair to say that the gap in talent and depth between these teams has shrunk significantly over that time. For Vancouver, the only remaining player from that 2017 side is Russell Teibert, while for the visitors, goalkeeper Nahuel Guzmán, striker André-Pierre Gignac, as well as wingers Javier Aquino and Luis Quiñones are still with the Mexican side. Midfielder Guido Pizarro, who left briefly for Spanish side Sevilla, is also back with Monterrey-based team for a second stint. All five of those players started vs. San Jose on Sunday in Leagues Cup action.
Everything about this competition is a bit confusing, so here’s what we know. This is the round of 32, and if Vancouver advances, they will face one of Portland Timbers or Monterrey in the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, the winner of this match could face LAFC, RSL or Leon. In the group stage, Tigres beat the Timbers 2-1, before taking an early lead and eventually holding on 1-0 against San Jose. In Liga MX, Tigres are undefeated though their first three matches of the Apertura, with 1 win and 2 draws. Notably, that win for Tigres was a 1-0 home result against Leon.
In terms of the Whitecaps’ roster, according to the club as of Thursday training, everyone other than Luis Martins is fit and available for Friday. That said, neither Richie Laryea nor Sam Adekugbe are with the team yet, so they are not options as far as I know.
Ok, on to rules and standings:
- Predictions will be ‘valid’ if posted HERE (or more accurately, whichever is the correct match thread) before the lineup is officially announced, usually about an hour before kickoff.
- You receive 1 point for every player you correctly guess to be in the Starting XI. You receive 4 bonus points for correctly predicting all 11 starters.
- You get 5 points for correctly guessing Win/Lose/Draw, this doubles to 10 if you also predict the right score-line along with the result.
- All this means, if you correctly predict the Starting XI, Final Score, and Winner, you can earn 25 points!
- At the end of each half, the contestant’s lowest two scores of that period will be deducted from the cumulative standings