Thanks to América losing last Sunday in La Corregidora to the hands of a tough and gritty Gallos Blancos, we now have a three-way tie for 1st place between América, Cruz Azul, and León. Despite Pumas’ unpleasant performances, they remain undefeated and sit just one point behind the three aforementioned teams, as well as a surprising Toluca squad, winners of three out of their last four. Atlas continue to hold the title of only winless team of the season, with only two draws and three losses, which has them placed dead last.
So, how did our bold predictions fare last week? Not too good. We were right on Vuce winning in his Chivas debut, but Pachuca overcoming a tough Puebla on the road, coupled with Toluca coming from behind to hand Tigres their first loss of the season made for some ill-conceived predictions. We went 1 for 4. With that said, we present our Week 6 BOLD PREDICTIONS:
- Santos bounce out of slump; defeat Necaxa. “Poncho” Sosa’s squad have been on the rise of late, not having lost since Week 2. In that time, they’ve ended up even with América and Rayados, which are of course extremely tough matchups, and defeated Mazatlán in a game they were expected to win, especially playing at home. So, after two straight losses to start the season, this team has indeed responded and done so positively. They are proving to be no easy match for anyone. The problem is, the team they will have in front of them is one who have struggled to find themselves thus far and are hungry to get back to their winning ways, as Santos so well proved a year ago. After having victory snatched from their fingers in the dying moments in Monterrey, losing with a couple of controversial calls vs. América, and being unable to defeat a weak Atlas squad at home, Jorge Almada’s players will come out trying to bite first. Not to mention, they have the upper hand talent-wise. Santos take this one on the road.
- Atlas get first win of season. With Diego Cocca now taking charge of the head coaching job, Atlas prepare to receive what is proving to be a very orderly and dangerous Querétaro squad on the counter-attack. After defeating Cruz Azul and América, two teams who open up and leave space because of their attacking mentality, Alex Diego’s squad were able to take advantage and get on the board before their rivals did. Now, they face a team who will do just the opposite as they well proved last week vs. Santos. Atlas will be perfectly content to sit back and wait, as defender Javier Abella clearly stated that Cocca’s main priortity is to keep the other team scoreless. With this, Alex Diego’s entire game plan will be forced to change and that’s when their true challenge will have presented itself. Not to mention, Gallos’ wretched historic record facing Atlas in the Estadio Jalisco; they’ve only won twice in their last ten matches there, complimented by one draw and seven losses.
- Tigres hand Pumas first loss of season. I know I have been insistenty wrong on this point with Pumas, and if I’m wrong this week again I’ll stop mentioning it. But there’s just no avoiding this one. Pumas do not have a good system in place, and lack the quality of players needed to get places. They have put on some horrid displays so far, but incredibly enough, continue to remain undefeated. I’m not sure you can call two wins and three draws “undefeated,” but they have mananged to not lose a single game as of yet. This Saturday, Lillini and company will stroll into the Estadio Universitario in San Nicolás de los Garza, where a furious “Tuca” awaits after having given up a lead in Toluca last weekend. Expect Tigres to go all out on Pumas, which would not only end their “unbeaten” season so far, but would also propel Tigres past them in the league table, and would leave Ferretti’s squad very close to 1st. Tigres win this one easily.