Is this the weekend that Chivas get off the mat and pick up their first win of the tournament? This week appears as good as any, as they kick off a tantalizing Friday in the first half of a doubleheader that sees them visit Morelia before Santos and Leon square off in the nightcap.
The return of Rafael Marquez Lugo was enough to earn the Goats a draw last week against Cruz Azul, but they are still in search of their first win. Healthy again and back in the team, Marquez scored, but Chivas couldn't find a winner despite finishing the match up a man. It was yet another frustration for Benjamin Galindo, who has a long list of them in his short stint at Estadio Omnilife.
The challenge for Galindo's squad on Friday will be reigning in the Morelia attack and keeping the wraps on Rodrigo Salinas, who has been a menace early on in the season. The onus will be on Miguel Angel Ponce to man Chivas' left flank and Salinas. If he can, Sergio Santana will spend 90 minutes flailing around without any service, much to the amusement of the visitors.
The chances going forward will be there for Chivas against Morelia's less-than-impressive defense (and there will be even more of them if Marco Fabian remembers how to be good at football again), and so will their chance to win, if they can keep from letting in three or four.
Wrapping up the night will be Leon's search for their first win. Their defense has left much to be desired, but not quite as much as their impotent attack. Marias Britos and Nelson Sebastian Maz will be challenged by the physical Santos defense that has been solid, but hardly outstanding in the early going. More than anything, Leon will need more from Luis Montes, who has been MIA in the early part of the season and hasn't given the Leon strikers much in the way of support.
Javier Orozco is coming for Puebla, whose defense seems unlikely to have an answer for the hot-starting striker. He has three goals to his name already and with Gerardo Torrado and Israel Castro still putting their tight grips on matches, it seems unlikely that Puebla will be able to limit the striker's chances by overrunning Cruz Azul in the midfield. Uh oh, Puebla.
Also uh oh to anyone who has to play Xolos nowadays. The defending champions are in tip-top form and probably will be so long as they still have Duvier Riascos. Please Stuttgart, do not steal our fun, even if Pachuca would love to see him move and by this Saturday, if possible.
Might Queretaro actually hang around in the Liguilla places this tournament? Probably not, but it's fun for now. Amaury Escoto has been one of Mexico's most fun player so far so why can't he keep it going? Well, skill and quality say he can't but "shhhhh." In the meantime, go Queretaro. Beat Tigres and the mean man Emmanuel Villa.
Monterrey vs. San Luis
Atlas vs. America
Toluca vs. UNAM
Chiapas vs. Atlante
Seriously, who decided this Sunday had to suck this much?