With nearly a week left in October, we all know what that means in Liga MX; the playoffs are near. Results get harder each week to predict as teams tighten up and fight harder, especially as it comes down to those final playoff spots. That didn’t stop us, however, from predicting two out of our three Bold Predictions from last weekend. Perhaps the most surprising result was Pumas’ end of week outcome; not only did they defeat Toluca, but it was also enough for them to claim 2nd place overall thanks to Cruz Azul succumbing to Tuca’s Tigres, who now find themselves in 3rd.
Round 15 kicks off tonight in Puebla as the ‘Camoteros’ host league-leaders León at 8:30 ET (7:30 CT). The rest of the Round 15 schedule will be played out from tomorrow until Monday night. With that said, we give way to this weekend’s BOLD PREDICTIONS:
- Querétaro defeat streaky Necaxa. After losing five straight, the ‘Hidrorayos’ managed to pull out a draw vs. Pumas, followed by two straight wins vs. Atlas and Tijuana. This 3-game unbeaten streak also coincides with the addition of now injured centre back Jair Pereira, who helped hold those three rivals to a total of one goal. Thanks to this good run, they are now in playoff positioning, as they currently stand 11th overall with 15 points. The home team, on the other hand, haven’t won a game in 49 days (since defeating Toluca 4-1). They own the league’s third worst defense (24 goals), and mainly have a group of players who belong in Second Division. However, they have only lost two out of their six home games this season (León and Rayados - two of the league’s toughest teams), and they were either in the lead or tied within both games’ final 10-15 minutes. They defeated Cruz Azul, América, and Toluca, and would’ve overcome Mazatlán, had it not been for Mario Osuna’s late strike. With only 12 points, they only have a -3 goal difference. They’ve been extremely tough at home, and I expect them to claim this one and get back into the playoff race.
- Cruz Azul get back on track. After suffering two straight losses for the first time since the Clausura 2020’s first two games, ‘La Máquina’ are trying to get their footing back before the start of the playoffs. After losing to Toluca on the road, they hosted a Tigres squad who proved utterly superior than Siboldi’s squad. Now finding themselves in 4th overall with their first round bye in danger, they look to take on a much improved Chivas since Vucetich’s arrival. Having lost only two out of his ten games in charge, Vuce’s squad has still been inconsistent to say the least. Beating Tigres and Mazatlán to then draw with Querétaro and Tijuana isn’t exactly a top contending team’s expected results. They’ve clearly struggled with the better teams, dropping to Toluca and América, and drawing with Pachuca. On Sunday, they play hosts to a hungry Cruz Azul who I predict will come away with the victory, get their season back on track, and hand Vuce his first Chivas home loss.
- Pumas get second consecutive win in Pachuca. The ‘Tuzos’ have only won one game out their last six, racking up four draws along with one loss during that span. Currently seeded 8th overall, with their playoff birth all but clinched, they still have slim hopes of reaching one of the top 4 spots. Their rivals during said span included Cruz Azul, Rayados, Toluca, and Santos. And it’s not getting any easier. On Monday night, they will play hosts to 2nd overall seeded Pumas, who along with 1st placed León, are the only two teams in the league with a single loss thus far this season. Pumas, however, have much to prove during this finals stretch, as many doubt their season success and believe they’re unfit for a deep playoff run, having showed weakness in many matches throughout. However, facing an inconsistent Pachuca squad this weekend, they should hold on to that 2nd spot despite Tigres overtaking the league over the past month. There’s no way Cabral, Herrera, and the rest of that Pachuca defense can keep pace with Dinneno and company. Pumas take this one on the road.