Tigres to face Santos Laguna in Mexican-league Champion of Champions clash

    14 de julio de 2018

    Carson, California, Jul 14 (efe-epa).- Tigres UANL, winners of the 2017-2018 Mexican league's Apertura championship, will square off here Sunday against Clausura winners Santos Laguna for the title of Campeon de Campeones (Champion of Champions).

    The Tigres will be vying to pull off a "three-peat" when the teams take the field at StubHub Center in Carson, having won this title match last year and in 2016.

    They also will be seeking revenge for their quarter-final defeat at the hands of Santos in the Clausura playoffs in May.

    The Tigres have not made any additions to their roster ahead of the upcoming 2018-2019 Apertura championship, which will kick off on July 20 and run until December.

    Santos, for its part, has signed Argentine defender Hugo Martin Nervo to make up for the departures of Argentine Carlos Izquierdoz and Mexican international Nestor Araujo, who have been contracted by Argentine club Boca Juniors and Spanish club Celta Vigo, respectively.

    The Clausura champions also suffered another key loss when the top goal-scorer in that championship, Cape Verdean Djaniny, left for Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli.

    Colombian forward Edwin Cetre also will be unavailable for Santos in Sunday's game because he is recovering from knee surgery, while Tigres will have to make do without Ecuadorian forward Enner Valencia, who suffered a knee injury.

    "We're going out with the mindset and the obligation to win," said Tigres winger Javier Aquino, who played for Mexico at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and will be a key player for that Monterrey-based club in the second half of the year.

    Santos' Carlos Orrantia, meanwhile, acknowledged the opponent's quality but said his team was confident of victory.

    The Champion of Champions match will be preceded by a contest Sunday afternoon pitting the winners of the 2017-2018 Apertura and Clausura Copa MX competitions: Monterrey and Necaxa, respectively.

    Probable starting line-ups:

    Tigres: Nahuel Guzman; Israel Jimenez, Juninho, Hugo Ayala, Jorge Torres Nilo; Rafael Carioca, Javier Aquino, Jesus Dueñas; Eduardo Vargas, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Ismael Sosa. Head Coach: Ricardo Ferretti.

    Santos Laguna: Jonathan Orozco; Jose Abella, Gerardo Alcoba, Jesus Angulo, Hugo Martin Nervo; Jose Vazquez, Carlos Orrantia, Brian Lozano, Osvaldo Martinez; Julio Furch, Jonathan Rodriguez. Head Coach: Robert Siboldi.

    Referee: Fernando Guerrero

    Stadium: Stubhub Center in Carson, California; Seating capacity: 27,000

    Time: Sunday, July 15, 6.15 pm (0115 GMT)