Apertura 2016 Week 16 Preview: Saturday’s Games

liga mxCruz Azul vs Pachuca – 7:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Cruz Azul (15th) fell 3-2 to Chivas de Guadalajara last weekend to give them back-to-back losses and keep them winless in three. La Máquina are all-but-eliminated from playoff contention as a result, and anything less than a win here will seal their fate, and even a win is unlikely to be enough as they need quite a few other result to also go their way. Additionally, Cruz Azul has lost three of their last four games in the Estadio Azul.

As for Pachuca (2nd), the Tuzos beat Atlas 3-2 last weekend to give them a three-game winning streak and keep them unbeaten at home this season. Pachuca is unbeaten in three on the road as well, and they could go top of the table with a win here, depending on Tijuana’s result. The Tuzos already have a playoff spot locked up, but they’ll look to keep their momentum going with another win here, and they do have the best attacking record in the league.

Querétaro vs Toluca – 7:00 PM – Galavision
Querétaro (14th) beat Jaguares de Chiapas 1-2 last weekend to remain unbeaten in two in league play. The Gallos Blancos are on the verge of mathematical elimination from the playoff race, but they can still count the season as something of a success as they won the Apertura 2016 Copa MX title in midweek with a penalty shootout victory against Chivas de Guadalajara. They’ll now look to give their fans something else to cheer about with a win in their final regular-season home game.

As for Toluca (9th), the Diablos Rojos fell 0-1 to Tijuana last weekend to keep them winless in two. Nevertheless, they are right in the thick of the playoff fight and a win here would go a long way towards putting them into the Liguilla. Toluca was knocked out of the Copa MX in the semifinals by none other than Querétaro, and they’ll look to avenge that loss by putting paid to the Gallos’ fragile playoff hopes in this one.

Monterrey vs Veracruz – 9:00 PM – TV Delay: 1:00 AM – Univision Deportes
Monterrey (11th) drew 1-1 with Tigres UANL in the Clásico Regio last weekend, which kept them winless in two but unbeaten in four. The Rayados are three points out of the final playoff spot and they need to win here to stay in the running. Although Monterrey is unbeaten in the Estadio BBVA Bancomer this season, they’ve only actually won two home matches, with the other five games all ending in draws. Draws are no longer good enough for the Rayados, who need a statement win against one of the league’s basement dwellers here.

As for Veracruz (17th), the Tiburones Rojos fell 1-4 to Pumas UNAM last weekend to extend their losing streak to seven games. The latest loss dropped Veracruz to the foot of the relegation standings and they are just three points out of last place in the league table as well. The Tiburones Rojos have long since been eliminated from playoff contention, but they need every point they can get as they scramble to improve their positioning in the Tabla de Cociente. Veracruz has yet to win on the road this season, though, and they also have the worst defensive record in the league.

Atlas vs América – 9:00 PM – Azteca America
Atlas (13th) fell 3-2 to Pachuca last weekend to keep them winless in two. The Rojinegros are unbeaten at home this season, however, and they’ll look to get back to winning ways when they return to the Estadio Jalisco here. They essentially need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they have won their last two home games.

As for América (5th), the Águilas beat Santos Laguna 3-1 last weekend to remain unbeaten in six. América is on the verge of clinching a playoff spot and a draw should be all they need to ensure it. They’re unbeaten on the road this season, with two wins and four draws, and they’ll look to keep that streak alive in their final away game. América has the worst defensive record among the current top eight teams, though.

León vs Chivas de Guadalajara – 9:06 PM – Univision Deportes
León (8th) drew 2-2 with Puebla last weekend to halt their three-game winning streak but keep them unbeaten in eight. La Fiera are currently occupying the final playoff spot and they need a win here to ensure they remain there. León has lost just one home game this season, and they’ve won four of their last five matches in the Nou Camp.

As for Chivas de Guadalajara (4th), el Rebaño beat Cruz Azul 3-2 last weekend to give them four wins in their last five league games. However, they’ll be dealing with the disappointment of having lost the Copa MX final in midweek, where they fell to Querétaro on penalties. Chivas is on the verge of clinching a playoff spot and they’ll want a statement win here to erase the memories of their midweek cup loss.

Necaxa vs Puebla – 11:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Necaxa (7th) fell 2-1 to Monarcas Morelia last weekend to end their three-game winning streak and their nine-game unbeaten streak. The Rayos are still unbeaten at home this season, though, and they will look to keep that streak alive in their final home game of the Apertura. Necaxa needs a win to ensure they’ll remain in the playoff places, and they do have one of the best defensive records in the league.

As for Puebla (10th), the Poblanos drew 2-2 with León last weekend to keep them unbeaten in two but winless at home in three. Puebla has been doing better on the road lately, though, with three wins in their last four away matches. They are in the midst of the playoff fight, and they could leapfrog their opponent with a win here.

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