Clausura 2019 Quarterfinal Previews: Thursday’s Games

Necaxa vs Monterrey – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Necaxa (6th) finished off the regular season with a 1-0 victory against Querétaro to send them into the playoffs with a four-game unbeaten streak. The Rayos are also unbeaten at home in four and lost just once at home in the regular season. However, they also had more draws than victories in the Estadio Victoria and accumulated the fewest home points of any of the playoff teams; they also scored the fewest home goals: 12 in eight games. Necaxa had a better record on the road, but they’ll still be looking to put their home-field advantage to good use as they start their quarterfinal series in this one.

As for Monterrey (3rd), the Rayados fell 2-0 to Atlas to end their regular season with a two-game winless streak. Monterrey fielded alternative lineups in both of those games, though, as they first prepared for and then recovered from winning the CONCACAF Champions League. They’ll undoubtedly put their first-choice lineup back on the field for this game as they look to add a league title to their continental one. The status of André-Pierre Gignac, who missed some games and started others on the bench due to injury, remains a question for this match.

In the lone regular-season meeting between the two, just a few weeks ago in Jornada 16, Monterrey and Necaxa played out a 2-2 draw in the Estadio BBVA Bancomer.

América vs Cruz Azul – 10:00 PM – Univision Deportes
América (5th) finished off the regular season with a 0-2 victory against the relegated Veracruz to give them a two-game winning streak. The Águilas are also in the midst of a five-game home unbeaten streak, and they’ll look to keep that alive here in this Clásico Joven quarterfinal series. América is, of course, the reigning Liga MX champion after winning the Apertura 2018 title, and they’ll be looking for a repeat this season.

As for Cruz Azul (4th), La Máquina finished their season with a 1-1 draw against Monarcas Morelia to keep them unbeaten in 10. Cruz Azul was a strong defensive team this season, allowing just 15 goals (the second-fewest in the league, one more than León), and they’ll look to stymie América in this one. On the other hand, they scored the second-fewest goals of any of the playoff teams, with 26 – one more than Tijuana.

In the lone regular-season meeting between the two, América and Cruz Azul played out a 0-0 draw in Jornada 14.

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