León (1st) is in good position to advance after their away win in the first leg. Any win or draw would put them through to the final, as would a 0-1 loss – and every single one of their home games this season reflected one of those scenarios: seven wins, one draw, and one 0-1 loss. León also has both the best attacking record and the best defensive record in the league; they would have to lose while conceding 2+ goals to fail to advance, and that happened just once in their 17 regular season games. In other words, La Fiera will like their chances in this one.
Tigres UANL (2nd) suffered a narrow defeat in the first leg of this Clásico Regio semifinal series, and they’ll now look to overcome the deficit when they return home to El Volcán. Due to their position as higher seed, a 1-0 victory would send Tigres through; but if Monterrey scores, the universitarios will need to win by two due to the away goals tiebreaker. Tigres lost just once at home in the regular season and scored 2+ goals in seven of their eight games there, so a comeback here is well within the realms of possibility. They will not want to lose to their regional rivals again, especially not at home; expect high intensity from the opening whistle.
Cruz Azul lost the first leg, but thanks to their away goal and their position as higher seed, they are still in a reasonable position to advance: La Máquina needs a two-goal win to move on to the semifinals. They were not a very high-scoring team in the regular season, though, amassing 26 goals in total; they won by a 2+-goal margin just four times in 17 games. Nevertheless, that’s what they need to do in this one. The pressure is on, especially since Cruz Azul will not want to be knocked out of the playoffs by their Clásico rivals.
Saturday’s clash between these two will be a winner-takes-all affair after a draw on Wednesday night. Tigres, with both an away goal and the advantage of being the higher seed, are in a more comfortable position; in addition to a win, they would go through with either a goalless draw or another 1-1 result. The universitarios lost just once in El Volcán in the regular season, and drew just once as well; their other six games all ended in victories.
On the other hand, to say Pachuca did not travel well would be an understatement; the Tuzos did not win a single one of their nine away games, picking up four draws and five losses on their travels. They also managed just six goals on the road, while allowing 21. Pachuca will need a much better result here if they want to move on to the semifinals.
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. Continue reading
Pachuca vs Tigres UANL – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Pachuca (7th) finished off the regular season with a 2-1 loss to León, a result that ended their five-game unbeaten streak. They’ll look to bounce back in their quarterfinal opener, and they were unbeaten at home in the regular season, amassing an 8-0-0 record in the Estadio Hidalgo. They’ll look to put that home field advantage to good use here, especially knowing that they failed to win a single game on the road in the Clausura 2019. The Tuzos will need to get this series off to a good start if they want to advance. Pachuca was also plagued by defensive difficulties this season, and they allowed the most goals of any of the Liguilla teams – on the other hand, they allowed just five goals in their eight home matches, while scoring 26 of their own. Continue reading
Pumas UNAM vs América – 1:00 PM – Univision / Univision Deportes
Pumas UNAM (15th) beat Querétaro 0-2 last weekend to give them a long-awaited first victory of the Clausura. The universitarios will now look for their first home win when they return to the Estadio Olímpico Universitario for this rivalry match. Pumas is unbeaten at home, with a string of draws, but they’ll be looking for more in this Clásico Capitalino – especially since they’re facing the team who bounced them out of the playoffs last season with a humiliating 6-1 loss.
As for América (8th), the Águilas fell 0-3 to León last weekend to send them into this rivalry match on the back of a loss. América has alternated wins and losses over the past four weeks, and they’ll hope that pattern means they’ll be due a victory in the Clásico. They’ve been a strong attacking team, scoring two or more goals in every match until last weekend’s, and they’ll look for another goal-filled performance in this one.
Cruz Azul vs Santos Laguna – 6:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Cruz Azul (10th) drew 1-1 with Toluca last weekend to remain winless in two. They’ll look to get back on track when they return home to the Estadio Azteca, the scene of their last league victory, for this one. La Máquina has had some trouble scoring this season, though, with just four goals through six games and just one goal at home. On the other hand, they’re tied for the second-best defensive record in the league with only five goals allowed and three clean sheets. They’ll look to eke out another close win here.
As for Santos Laguna (9th), the Laguneros drew 1-1 with Tijuana last weekend to also remain winless in two. Santos is winless on the road as well, with two losses and a draw on their travels, and they’ll look to change that stat here. Like Cruz Azul, Santos hasn’t been all that prolific in front of goal, and they have yet to score more than one goal in a game. Changing that against Cruz Azul’s stingy defense might prove difficult.
Monarcas Morelia vs Monterrey – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Monarcas Morelia (16th) fell 2-0 to Pachuca last weekend to give them two losses in a row and keep them winless in three, as well as winless on the road this season. The michoacanos will now look to get back on track when they return home to the Estadio Morelos, but they’ll be facing the league leaders in this one. Morelia has struggled to score this season, averaging less than a goal per game, but on the other hand all four of their goals have come at home.
As for Monterrey (1st), the Rayados beat Lobos BUAP 4-0 last weekend to remain unbeaten this season. They have the best goal-scoring record in the league as well, averaging close to three goals per game, and they’ll look for another big win in this one. Monterrey’s schedule has been very home-heavy so far, with just two away games out of six, but facing one of the teams propping up the table is unlikely to test their ability to win on the road as well. They do need to win this one to guarantee they’ll hold on to first place, though.
Toluca vs Cruz Azul – 1:00 PM – Univision / Univision Deportes
Toluca (12th) fell 2-0 to Tijuana last weekend to extend their losing streak to three games. The Diablos rojos will look to get back to winning ways when they return to the Estadio Nemesio Diez for this one, but they’ve had mixed results at home so far in the Clausura. They’ve also failed to score in their last three matches, bringing their scoreless streak to 280 minutes. They have a fairly good defensive record, though, and they’ll also have the advantage of some extra rest for this one as they did not have a midweek game.
As for Cruz Azul (10th), La Máquina fell 2-0 to León last weekend to end their two-game winning streak. That was the first time this season Cruz Azul conceded more than one goal in a game, although on the other hand they’ve also failed to score more than one goal in a game. That pattern continued in the Copa MX in midweek, where they played out a 1-1 draw with León. They’ll look to get back on track when they face a new opponent in this one.