Pumas captain Veron plunged into the middle of a racism scandal after Club América forward Darwin Quintero accused him of hurling racial epithets during the contentious second-leg defeat on Sunday. Veron is expected to avoid suspension before the final on Thursday. His presence -- and his complete focus on the task at hand -- is crucial: the veteran center back is charged with subduing influential Tigres forward André-Pierre Gignac.
LatinContent/Getty ImagesHector Vivas/STR
Tigres UANL midfielder Guido Pizarro
Pizarro serves as the hub of operations for Tigres’ deft approach in possession. He carries out his duties with considerable precision (his 93 percent passing accuracy is tops in Liga MX, per Opta statistics) and a minimum of fuss. His combination of astute positioning, crisp passing and robust tackling makes him a particularly important figure as Tigres attempts to take control in the first leg on Thursday.
LatinContent/Getty ImagesAzael Rodriguez/STR
Pumas UNAM winger Fidel Martinez
After rising to prominence during Club Tijuana’s run to the title back in 2012, Martinez skidded off the rails. Tijuana eventually offloaded him to Leones Negros last season and watched him fumble around in the relegation-bound side. Pumas landed the Ecuador winger during the summer and rehabilitated his career promptly. Martinez poses a genuine threat with his pace and his intent in the wide areas. He must thrive on the break to spur Pumas forward.
AFP/Getty ImagesALFREDO ESTRELLA
Tigres UANL forward André-Pierre Gignac
The former Marseille forward signed a lucrative deal in the summer to lead the line. He failed in his initial attempts to claim the Copa Libertadores, but he placed Tigres in position to secure the Liguilla instead with a series of influential performances. His well-rounded work as a center forward -- the sort of player capable of combining with Rafael Sobis drifting off him, drifting into the channels to find space and rounding off moves with precision -- makes him Tigres’ primary threat.
AFP/Getty ImagesJULIO CESAR AGUIAR
Pumas UNAM forward Eduardo Herrera
Every component of the Pumas attack is designed to provide Herrera with plenty of service. It is a wise course of action given Herrera’s proficiency as a traditional target man. His aerial prowess allows him to pose a threat consistently in the air, while he also serves as a touchstone when Pumas pushes forward quickly. He must continue his consistent goalscoring record in the Apertura (10 goals in 21 matches, including the Liguilla) for Pumas to win the title.