Liga MX Week 16 Preview

Playoff Battles Intensify

Liga MX Week 16 Preview

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MEXICO - Only two more regular season matches remain in the Clausura 2014 season and most of the teams are still fighting with some degree of chance to finish inside of the top eight and play in the “liguila”.

Here is a look at what we can expect from week 16 of the Liga MX.

FRIDAY:

Morelia vs Cruz Azul - 5:30pm (pacific)

Morelia who are in 11th place in the league table are only two points outside of the playoff zone. They’ll need to find a way to get the three points at home against the league leaders at any cost. Cruz Azul already has their ticket sealed into the playoffs and will be more focused on next week’s CONCACAF Champions League return leg final against Toluca.

SATURDAY:

Club America vs Queretaro - 3:00pm (pacific)

America are sitting pretty in fourth place of the league table in regards to their battle for the playoffs. But last season’s runners up have not been playing their highest level of football and will not only look to win, but to win in a convincing fashion. A loss to 9th place Queretaro could put in jeopardy America’s playoff position. The visitors are just one point outside of the “Liguilla” spots and will also be needing the three points.

Monterrey vs Veracruz - 5:00pm (pacific)

Mathematically these two teams still have playoff possibilities, but realistically there are too many teams ahead of them. Veracruz will finally be playing without the pressure of the relegation battled since Atlante has officially saved them. But points picked up this weekend and next could be detrimental in next year’s relegation battle.

Santos vs Chiapas - 5:00pm (pacific)

Santos had to endure a long trip all the way down to Argentina mid week where they suffered a hartbreaking 2-1 loss in the final minutes. The team will be more concern with the return leg of that Copa Libertadores series against Lanu next week. Santos do have a comfortable position in the race for the playoffs as they sit in 3rd place of the league table. The visiting Chiapas are still mathematically alive, but in 13th place there are too many other teams ahead of them in the playoff campaign.

Pachuca vs Puebla - 5:00pm (pacific)

Pachuca who at one point reached the 3rd place of the league table have dropped to 6th place due to their huge ups and downs. They need a win over struggling Puebla in order to maintain themselves as one of the favorites to finish in the top eight. Puebla are one of the few teams officially eliminated from the playoffs as the sit dead last in the league table; but they will be playing without the relegation cloud hanging over them as Atlante have already been sentenced to drop.

Leon vs Tigres UANL - 6:00pm (pacific)

Due to their mid week 2-2 draw at home in the Copa Libertadores, Leon will have to focus most of their energy in the return leg of the Round of 16 in Bolivia next week. They have already come out on record saying that they are leaving the local domestic league to the side and prioritizing the continental competition. The visiting Tigres will be in desperate need for the three points as they look to make a surprising and shocking entrance into the playoffs.

Atlas vs Toluca - 7:00pm (pacific)

Atlas have officially saved themselves from relegation and now from their 10th place spot; two points out of a playoff spot, look to make an unexpected qualification. The visiting Toluca will be more focused on next’s week’s mid week CONCACAF Champions League championship match against Cruz Azul. Toluca already have their playoff spot assured.

SUNDAY:

Pumas UNAM vs Chivas Guadalajara - 10:00am (pacific)

Two of Mexico’s “Big Four” faceoff as both sides want and need the point to remain inside of the playoff zone. Pumas in 5th and Chivas in 8th currently are inside but a loss to either could change all of that.

Atlante vs Tijuana Xolos - 3:00pm (pacific)

The already relegated Atlante host Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles. The Xolos who are in 7th place just inside of the playoff zone are another side who needs the three points desperately to further cement their position in the “Liguilla: spots. A win for Tijuana would also mean an end to the negative streak on the road that has been eating at them.

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jonny.rico@sandiegored.com (Follow Jonny Rico on Facebook and Twitter)

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