We are at the halfway point of the regular season and week 9 of Liga MX promises to deliver another exciting slate of matches.
On Saturday, Club America legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco says goodbye one final time as Las Aguilas host Monarcas Morelia at the Estadio Azteca. Quite remarkably, for all his accomplishments with Las Aguilas, Blanco never had the chance to depart as a Club America player. Now as part of the club's 100-year anniversary, Blanco will wear the America jersey for the last time in the stadium that made him one of the most adored Mexican players in recent time.
The theory is that, since Blanco is 43 years old and out of match fitness, he will only play part of the first half. What is true about this clash, though, is that it is still an official league match. Monarcas Morelia are unbeaten in their last five league games, and Enrique Meza's side will look to ride the momentum through the day's festivities.
Meanwhile, there will be a different kind of festivities north of the capital as the state of Nuevo Leon will host the 106th edition of the Clasico Regiomontano between Monterrey and Tigres. The clubs will meet for the first time at Monterrey's new Estadio BBVA Bancomer in what is arguably one of the biggest games of the season
Monterrey were way below their best last week as they were hammered 4-0 by Cruz Azul. The match may have revealed some of Rayados' vulnerabilities at the back, but there's nothing close to their attack force of Carlos Sanchez, Edwin Cardona, Rogelio Funes Mori, and Dorlan Pabon. There has not been a regular season Monterrey win in the Clasico Regiomontano since 2013, but they may be worth backing this time around.
Still, Tigres are the current Liga MX champions and they remain a hugely talented team. The potential wild factor is they traveled to Utah for the CONCACAF Champions League during the midweek, but there's nothing like a local derby to get those tired legs going.
The other local derby match of the weekend will be played on Sunday when Pumas UNAM and Cruz Azul meet at Ciudad Universitaria. Coming off perhaps their best win of the season, the aforementioned 4-0 thrashing over Monterrey, Cruz Azul are looking like a team capable of returning to the playoffs. The Cementeros are on a bit of a roll, unbeaten in their last five league games, and will be looking to produce another good performance against their rivals.
Pumas UNAM are also unbeaten in their last five league games but have only obtained one win in that run. The Universitarios are not the side they were this time last year, but as shown in their impressive 2-0 midweek win at Olimpia in the Copa Libertadores, they are still good enough to be feared. A local derby should be motivation enough to take confidence from their win in Paraguay and improve on their league form.
Below, you can find the full list of games and their time.
Week 9 Schedule (all times ET)
Xolos de Tijuana vs. Leon - Friday, 10:30 p.m., TV Azteca
Club America vs. Morelia - Saturday, 6 p.m., Univision and Univision Deportes Network and Univision Deportes En Vivo(Streaming) and fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)
Queretaro vs. Chivas - Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Unimas
Monterrey vs. Tigres - Saturday, 8 p.m., Univision Deportes Network and Univision Deportes En Vivo(Streaming) and fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)
Pachuca vs. Dorados- Saturday, 9:06 p.m., NBC Universo
Atlas vs. Santos Laguna - Saturday, 9:30 p.m., TV Azteca
Chiapas vs. Toluca - Saturday, 10 p.m., Univision Deportes Network and Univision Deportes En Vivo(Streaming) and fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)
Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul - Sunday, 1 p.m., Univision and Univision Deportes Network and Univision Deportes En Vivo(Streaming) and fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)
Puebla vs. Veracruz - Sunday, 6 p.m., Univision Deportes Network and Univision Deportes En Vivo(Streaming) and fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription)