Puebla and Leon meet for the first leg of their quarter-final clash in the Guardianes 2020 Liga MX final phase on Thursday at 1am (UK time).
The hosts are the lowest seeded team in the final phase but edged past Monterrey in the ‘reclassification’ round last week. This is the first time an extra qualifying round has been employed since the Clausura 2008 season, which expands the teams from eight to twelve.
Monterrey were seeded fifth but lost 4-2 on penalties to Puebla after a 2-2 draw, in which Santiago Ormeno netted a 90th-minute equaliser for the brilliantly nicknamed Sweet Potatoes. And once more they enter this phase as the lowest ranked team, taking on Leon, seeded first.
As a highly ranked side the Guanajuato-based club were not involved in the ‘reclassification’ round and have gone straight to the quarter-finals. The two-time champions will fancy their chances against Puebla, who have not featured in the Liga MX final phases since Apertura 2015.
Ignacio Ambriz’s side are on a 14-game unbeaten run, last coming unstuck against Cruz Azul in August, while finishing atop the Liga MX Apertura table. As such, the Green Bellies enter this first leg in stellar form and will be hoping to take a commanding lead back to Guanajuato for the return fixture on Sunday.
Where to watch Puebla vs Leon on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: TUDN USA
Where to live stream Puebla vs Leon:
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Puebla vs Leon’s previous line-ups:
- Puebla (vs Monterrey): Vikonis; Corral, Vidrio, Perg, Angulo; Salas, Fernandez, Gonzalez, Reyes; Alvarez, Ormeno.
- Leon (vs Toluca): Cota; Navarro, Barreiro, Tesillo, Rodriguez; Montes, Aquino, Meneses, Mena, Ramirez; Gigliotti.
Colombia international Yairo Moreno remains sidelined for Leon after sustaining a muscle injury in his right leg during the win over Mazatlan FC. For the hosts, Osvaldo Martinez is likely to start from the off after coming on in the 54th minute against Monterrey with Puebla two goals down. He scored six minutes after he entered the fray and netted a penalty in the shootout.
Player to watch: Joel Campbell (Club Leon)
Ever wondered what happened to Joel Campbell? Well, has this answered your question? There was a time when Arsenal fans were crying out for the 94-capped Costa Rica international to be given a fairer shake during his formative years in north London. Having impressed in various loan spells away from Arsenal, notably Olympiacos in 2013/14, where he famously netted in a 2-0 win over Manchester United in the Champions League, Campbell put his name on the map and had fans pining for future first team involvement.
Arsene Wenger was always a paternalistic tactician and handed Campbell 23 Premier League appearances, but he never truly threw down the gauntlet and affirmed his status as a long-term option for the Gunners. Subsequently he joined Frosinone in 2018 and recently signed for Leon on a permanent deal after spending some time on loan. At 28 Campbell is in the prime years of his career and still packs bundles of talent, so certainly keep an eye out for him later this week.
Scoreline prediction: Puebla 0-2 Leon
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