Cruz Azul vs Pumas: Live stream, starting lineup, kickoff time, & match preview

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Yuri Cortez
With both grandes on the outside of the Liguilla picture looking in, the meeting of Mexico City sides takes on an increased importance this season

Two grandes come together Saturday in Mexico City, but neither look all that strong.

Cruz Azul sits 11th in the table and making the Liguilla again after snapping a long drought last season looks more difficult by the week, though a big win last Saturday has enthusiasm high around the Estadio Azul.

Pumas ran out as the Liga MX leader early on after finishing dead last in the Apertura. They've been playing more like last season's version lately, though, entering the weekend winless in their last five league matches and coming off a frustrating home loss to 10-man Necaxa in the Copa MX.

Which big club will take another step forward toward the playoffs this weekend? 

Game Cruz Azul vs. Pumas
Date Saturday, March 17
Time 7 p.m. ET
Stream (U.S. only) fuboTV (7-day free trial)

LIVE STREAM


Nicolas Castillo Pumas

Watch Cruz Azul vs. Pumas live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

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SQUADS & TEAM NEWS


Position Cruz Azul players
Goalkeepers Corona, Allison
Defenders Roco, Dominguez, Velazquez, Flores, Aldreta, Maduena, J. Silva
Midfielders F. Silva, Salas, Montoya, Rodriguez, Cota, Baca, Pena
Forwards Cauteruccio, Fierro, Mena, Mendez, Zuniga

Enzo Roco left La Maquina's match last weekend with a leg injury but was back on the training pitch with the rest of the group Wednesday. 

Potential starting XI: Corona; Florez, Roco, Dominguez, Aldrete; Baca, Silva; Mendez, Montoya, Menz; Mora

Position Pumas players
Goalkeepers Saldivar, Magana, Castillo
Defenders Van Rankin, Arribas, Quintana, Mendoza, Fuentes, Garcia, Jaquez, Gonzalez
Midfielders Escamilla, Cabrera, Gonzalez, Jurado, Zamudio, Gallardo, Diaz, Calderon, Formica
Forwards Barrera, Guerron, Alustiza, Figueroa, Asprilla, Acosta, Castillo, Torres

David Patino has a mostly healthy group, but has choices to make at right back (between Josecarlos Van Rankin and academy product Alan Mozo), left back (between Alan Mendoza and Luis Fuentes) and on the right wing (between Pablo Barrera and Alan Acosta).

Potential starting XI: Saldivar; Van Rankin, Arribas, Quintana, Fuentes; Barrera, Cabrera, Diaz, Gallardo; Alustiza; Castillo


GAME PREVIEW


Cruz Azul

Pumas make the quick drive north to the Estadio Azul this weekend to meet fellow Mexico City club Cruz Azul.

It's the visitors ahead of the hosts in the table, but the hosts feeling better about the contest.

La Maquina rolled over Pachuca 5-0 last week for their second win of the season, igniting hope that this is a team that could make the postseason.

Pumas, meanwhile, took a big blow last week with a loss to Toluca in Liga MX play Sunday and then a Copa MX loss to Necaxa. That game particularly stung because it was being played at home and Necaxa was reduced to 10 men in the first half. Nicolas Castillo scored in the third minute, but Pumas couldn't keep Necaxa from coming back for a 2-1 victory.

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Mix in the fact that Pumas haven't won in their last five league games and the days when they were leading the league at the start of the season seem very far away. Castillo continues to find the back of the net, but the issues that emerged last season of the team depending too heavily on the Chilean again are back in play.

His countrymen Enzo Roco, Felipe Mora and Martin Rodriguez have played well in the past few weeks as Pedro Caixinha's men have hinted at turning things around before last weekend's offensive explosion. Angel Mena scored twice while winter acquisition Walter Montoya scored his debut goal in the blowout.

Now it's on them to keep things going up front and keep the slim hope of a Liguilla spot alive.

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