With the Mexican NT’s two friendly matches in the books, and Round 14 kicking off tonight in San Luis, it’s time to turn our attention back to Liga MX as it enters its final regular season stretch. With only four rounds left to be played, every minute of action becomes increasingly significant and defining in the final league table positioning. And what a closing it will be; we still have pending macthups between some of the top flyers which will serve as a revealing preview of what we can expect come playoff time.
As Round 14 kicks off tonight at 10 pm ET (9 CT) between Atlético San Luis and Querétaro, an interesting slate of games await during the weekend which we plan to cover in our BOLD PREDICTIONS:
- ‘Clásico Tapatío’ will go to Atlas. If there’s one thing that has reigned in the two Jalisco-based clubs this season, it’s inconsistency. On the one hand, we have the home team, Chivas, who have only lost two out of their nine games since Vucetich took charge of the team. However, they haven’t been perfect by any stretch of the imagination; they’ve drawn two matches at home (one of them vs. lowly Gallos), and despite defeating Tigres on the road, lost the ‘Super Clásico’ and couldn’t get more than a draw in Tijuana. Atlas, on the other hand, have shown promising improvement since the arrival of head coach Diego Cocca, especially on the defensive end, but haven’t been an exception to inconsistency either. After defeating Cruz Azul, couldn’t get past Mazatlán and ended up dropping their match vs. Necaxa at home, even after defeating FC Juárez on the road. Talk about an up-and-down season for both. The bottom line here is, Chivas have yet to lose a home game under Vucetich, and I believe that will no longer hold true after Saturday. Chivas are the favorites, but as they have most of the season, will let us down when we have high expectations for them, and Atlas will have success facing another team who opens up and attacks their rivals. Atlas claim this derby.
- Tigres hand Cruz Azul first home loss. Yes, Cruz Azul are undefeated at home this season. Yes, Cruz Azul are 2nd overall in the league table. And yes, the last time Tigres defeated ‘La Máquina’ was back in October of 2017. However, Tigres are on a 4-game winning streak, a stretch in which they have yet to concede a goal, and have also scored 10 themselves. A stretch in which Leo Fernández has established himself in the Starting XI and Nico López has become the team revelation. And with Cruz Azul going through all their administrative issues, as well as Igor Lichnovsky releasing his video criticizing the club following his exit, Siboldi’s squad are dealing with many distractions at the moment. Tigres will go in to Mexico City and strip Cruz Azul of their undefeated home record, extending their own streak to 5.
- León claim home victory in Estadio Victoria vs. América. As we know, league-leaders León have lost their stadium rights for the time being, and were forced to look elsewhere to play their remaining home games for this season. That starts this weekend, as they prepare to host 3rd place América, in what promises just as interesting a matchup and playoff preview as the Cruz Azul-Tigres one. León will have a mission on Monday night, and that mission will be to prove to the entire country they can win anywhere, even after being stripped of their own stadium. They are winners of 4 straight, and have won 8 out of their last 10 (the other 2 being draws). América, meanwhile, have drawn 3 out of their last 4, and their inconsistency, along with their inability to put together 90 minutes of good football will come back to haunt them in this one. With América not showing the strength we’ve seen in recent seasons, look for Ambriz’s squad to remain undefeated at home (in Aguascalientes), playing at the extremely high level they have as of late, led by their league-leading defense (8 total goals conceded).