Monterrey vs Pumas UNAM – 8:00 PM – Unimás
Monterrey (11th) defeated Jaguares 0-2 last weekend to keep them in playoff contention. The Rayados need a win and some help to make the Liguilla, and they’ll look for the first part of that formula here. Monterrey is unbeaten at the Tec this season with five wins and two draws, and they won’t want to mar that record with a loss here, particularly since this is their last season in the Estadio Tecnólogico before they move into their new stadium. Dorlan Pabón has been scoring for fun as of late and his brace last weekend has put him squarely into the fight for the individual goalscoring title; the Monterrey icon will look to lead his side to victory with another goal or two here.
As for Pumas UNAM (13th), a 0-1 loss to Cruz Azul last weekend has all but eliminated them from playoff contention. While mathematically still in the running at the start of the weekend, they need so many results to go their way that they could already be eliminated before this game even kicks off. With that in mind, they’ll come out looking for a win as much to play spoiler to Monterrey as to help themselves, as this is likely to be their final game of the season. The universitarios haven’t done too well on the road this season, with just one win in their seven away games, and they could be distracted by off-field issues since the club being investigated after fan violence in their last game.
León vs Tijuana – 9:06 PM – Telemundo
León (17th) lost 2-0 to Puebla last weekend to extend their winless streak to an astonishing eight games. La Fiera has been tumbling down the table and they are trying to avoid dropping all the way into last place, which could happen if they lose here. After an unpleasant two-game road trip, León is now returning home for their final game of the season. They are winless in three in the Nou Camp and have in fact won just two of their home games all season, but they will look to set that aside and end their torrid Clausura 2015 on a high note. They have nothing left to play for but pride, and they need a win here to wash the bad taste of the season out of their mouths before they look to rebuild over the summer.
As for Tijuana (7th), the Xolos spent six consecutive weeks at the top of the table and are now in danger of missing out on the playoffs. Tijuana lost 1-2 to Atlas last weekend to give them a two-game losing streak and a six-game winless streak. The Xolos have lost five of their last six games and have reverted back to their notoriously poor road form; Tijuana has lost their last three straight away games and they’re winless in four. Despite all that, they do have the most prolific attack in the league with 28 goals scored, and their playoff destiny is still firmly in their own hands. For Tijuana the formula is simple: win and they’re in.
Santos Laguna vs Puebla – 9:30 PM – Azteca America
Santos Laguna (8th) is looking to lock up a playoff spot while Puebla (15th) is looking to avoid relegation. With the relegation fight still undecided, this game was moved to be played simultaneously with Cruz Azul-Leones Negros, with the UdeG also looking to avoid the drop.
Santos defeated Pachuca 2-3 last weekend to jump into the Liguilla places, and now their destiny is in their own hands: win and they’re in. Puebla’s destiny is also in their own hands; all they need is a draw, regardless of what Leones Negros do. They could also remain in the first division with a loss, but only if Leones lose as well, and Puebla is not going to want to have to pray that they do.
The Poblanos picked up an encouraging 2-0 win against León last weekend and with Matías Alustiza leading their lines, their offense has come to life. Puebla will look for “el Chavo” to continue his good form in front of goal as they look for the victory that would guarantee their salvation.
Cruz Azul vs Leones Negros – 9:30 PM – Univision Deportes
Cruz Azul (6th) is looking to lock up a playoff spot while Leones Negros (16th) have one last chance to avoid relegation. The Universidad de Guadalajara needs to win and pray that Puebla loses, as that combination of results is the only one that will keep Leones from dropping back into the Liga de Ascenso.
Meanwhile, La Máquina needs a win to guarantee their spot in the Liguilla, although their position is a little less precarious than Santos’s, and they could qualify even with a loss, assuming other results go their way. Cruz Azul won last weekend and are now returning home to the Estadio Azul, where they lost last time out to end a three-game unbeaten streak.
Leones Negros took the lead but couldn’t hold it last weekend, falling 1-2 to Veracruz to put them in an incredibly precarious situation. Leones are winless in six and the main reason for that is that they cannot score. Leones have managed just 11 goals this season, the fewest in the league – and three of those were own goals. If Fidel Martínez doesn’t score, no one does… and even if he does score, it might not be enough.
Atlas vs América – 10:00 PM – Unimás
Atlas (3rd) defeated Tijuana 1-2 last weekend to reach 28 points and qualify for the Liguilla. The Rojinegros are now angling for the best possible positioning, as they could finish anywhere between first and sixth. Atlas has a three-game winning streak and a five-game unbeaten streak, and they’re finishing out the regular season on their home ground, where they are unbeaten in three. Atlas will look for a strong end to the season and a good performance in the Liguilla as they look to erase the bad memories of a poor Copa Libertadores campaign.
As for América (5th), the Águilas are on the brink of the playoffs but aren’t yet mathematically guaranteed a spot. Their destiny is firmly in their own hands, as a win would automatically qualify them, and they could get in with a draw or even a loss, although that would depend on other results going their way. The winners of the Apertura 2014 will be eager for the chance to defend their title, particularly after they recently won the CONCACAF Champions League. This season has been a bit up and down for América, with both big wins and big losses, and they will look to silence their critics here.