Apertura 2016 Week 15 Preview: Saturday’s Games

liga mxJaguares de Chiapas vs Querétaro – 6:00 PM – Univision Deportes / ESPN Deportes
Jaguares de Chiapas (18th) fell 2-0 to Tijuana last weekend to extend their losing streak to three games and their winless streak to 11. Jaguares are rooted to the foot of the table and are just a few points out of last place in the relegation standings as well. Jaguares’ main problem this season has been goalscoring – or lack thereof. They’ve managed just seven goals this season, or one every two games on average. They’ve done slightly better at home – the site of their lone win this season – but even there they aren’t even averaging a goal per game. Their attack needs to step up sooner rather than later if they want to salvage anything from this season.

As for Querétaro (15th), the Gallos Blancos drew 1-1 with América last weekend to keep them winless in five in league play. Querétaro is in the midst of a five-game road losing streak as well, and they have yet to win on the road this season. However, if they’re going to bring that streak to a close, this game would be the one to do it in as they face a struggling and demoralized Jaguares side. They did win on the road in midweek after a fashion as they beat Toluca on penalties to advance to the final of the Copa MX.

Monarcas Morelia vs Necaxa – 8:00 PM – Azteca America
Monarcas Morelia (14th) fell 3-1 to León last weekend to keep them winless in five. Morelia is also at the foot of the relegation standings and the club parted ways with coach Enrique Meza after last weekend’s loss. La Monarquía will look to get things back on track at home in this one, but they haven’t won in the Estadio Morelos since August. Morelia has the second-best attacking record in the league, but they also have the worst defensive record. Morelia has yet to post a shutout this season and unless they can get things sorted out in the back, getting back into the “W” column doesn’t look like a promising proposition.

As for Necaxa (6th), the Rayos beat Veracruz 3-2 last weekend to give them a three-game winning streak and keep them unbeaten in nine. Necaxa will look to keep their dream season going against a struggling Morelia as they look to book a spot in the Liguilla in their first season back in the first division. The Rayos are unbeaten in four on the road as well, with two draws and two wins in that span, and they’ll look to take advantage of an out-of-form Morelia here.

Tigres UANL vs Monterrey – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
The Clásico Regio comes with the two Monterrey clubs in rather different situations.
Tigres UANL (3rd) won 1-3 last weekend to snap a two-game losing streak – the only two games they’ve lost this season. They have the best defensive record in the league, are just four points out of first place, and are on the verge of mathematically clinching a spot in the playoffs. They will also have home-field advantage in this edition of the Clásico, and they’ve only lost one home game this season.

As for Monterrey (11th), the Rayados drew 1-1 with Toluca last weekend to remain unbeaten in three, but they have just one win in their last four. They are tied for the third-best attacking record in the league, however, and more than half of their goals have come on the road. On the other hand, so have all four of their losses. A win here would go a long way towards putting Monterrey into the playoff picture, while a loss could mathematically eliminate them from contention.

Pachuca vs Atlas – 8:06 PM – NBC Universo
Pachuca (2nd) beat Chivas de Guadalajara 1-2 last weekend to give them back-to-back wins and keep them unbeaten in six. The Tuzos are also unbeaten at home this season, with five wins and two draws, and they are within striking distance of first place. A win here would in fact put them into first, pending Tijuana’s result on Sunday. Pachuca has the best attacking record in the league, but they will be without the suspended Hirving Lozano for this one.

As for Atlas (12th), the Rojinegros drew 2-2 with Santos Laguna last weekend to keep them unbeaten in two. However, Atlas has yet to win on the road this season, with three draws and four losses on their travels. They’ve averaged two goals against per game on the road, which is not a promising statistic when going up against the league’s highest goalscorers. The Rojinegros need to win this one to realistically stay in playoff contention, though, so they will be quite motivated here.

América vs Santos Laguna – 10:00 PM – Unimás
América (5th) drew 1-1 with Querétaro last weekend to remain unbeaten in five and unbeaten on the road this season. The Águilas have been doing better on the road than at home this season; all three of their losses to date have come in the Estadio Azteca. They lost there in midweek as well, falling 4-3 on penalties to rivals Chivas de Guadalajara in the Copa MX semifinals. América will be eager to put that SuperClásico cup loss behind them with a statement win in league play.

As for Santos Laguna (16th), the Guerreros drew 2-2 with Atlas last weekend to remain winless in five. Santos is also winless on the road this season, where they have earned just two points from seven matches. They’re mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and have little to play for in the final three games of the season, except for pride. They would love to add to América’s miserable week with their first away win of the season in this one.

Chivas de Guadalajara vs Cruz Azul – 10:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Chivas de Guadalajara (4th) fell 1-2 to Pachuca last weekend to snap a three-game winning streak. El Rebaño did get back to winning ways in midweek, however, when they beat archrival América on penalties in the Copa MX semifinal. They will look to build on that SuperClásico victory to get back to winning ways in league play, but they’ve lost two of their last three home games and they have one of the lowest goalscoring records in the league this season. On the other hand, they have the second-best defensive record and they’ve allowed less than a goal per game at home on average.

As for Cruz Azul (13th), La Máquina fell 1-2 to Puebla last weekend to keep them winless in two. The club parted ways with Tomás Boy after that match, and Cruz Azul will now look to get back to winning ways with an interim head coach. La Máquina is actually unbeaten on the road this season, but they have just one win on their travels; their other six away games have all been draws. Cruz Azul needs a win here to keep their playoff hopes mathematically alive, but they’ve been shutout in just under half of their road games this season.

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