As it stands, the three Mexico City-based clubs are atop the league with 19 points apiece. With eight rounds to go, we’re set to begin the second half of the season with a few interesting matchups this weekend. With fans gradually paying more attention to the league table down the stretch, every game gains more relevance. And despite 12 out of the 18 teams making the playoffs this year, it’s important for the teams to finish as high up in the table as possible to get the “easier” wild-card round matchup.
As it does every week, this brings us to Round 10 which kicks off tonight with Necaxa hosting Chivas. And with this, we give way to this week’s BOLD PREDICTIONS:
- Necaxa hand “Vuce” second defeat as Chivas head coach. While Chivas are four points above bottom-dweller Necaxa, “Rey Midas” has struggled mightily when facing the Hidrorayos. He lost four out of the five matches in which he faced them during his second stint with Querétaro, not to mention Chivas’ inability to overcome Necaxa in their last three matchups (2 draws, 1 loss). With Chivas looking much more organized under Vucetich and rising up to 7th place, most everybody expects them to win this one. “Poncho” Sosa’s gritty squad, however, is built to make Vucetich’s organized and delicate style of play suffer. I predict Necaxa win this one and climb out of last place.
- Santos take “Clásico” from Tigres. Everyone up north knows that Santos consider their matchups with Tigres and Rayados derbies or “clásicos.” For some reason, they’re the only ones in on it. Neither of the two Monterrey-based franchises consider Santos a “clásico” matchup, despite their growing rivalry with one another over the past decade. Tigres are a mess right now, and “Tuca” has much figuring out to do, starting with his defense, who have allowed over a goal per match on average, something not usual of a Ferretti-led team. They have also struggled to find their way on offense, as the Brazilian has chosen to utilize Vargas over youngster Fernández, which has clogged up the system at times. Now winless over their past five matches, Tigres will face a team who always gives its best when facing either them or Rayados. Santos, who are less than a year removed from a spectacular 1st place, 37-point season, winning 11 out of 18 matches, will try to show Tigres who is boss up north, and will pull away with a win from the Estadio Universitario.
- Gallos Blancos defeat León. The last three teams to come into Estadio Corregidora were Cruz Azul, América, and Toluca, in that order. Not one of of those teams pulled away with even a point. During that time frame, Querétaro scored 9 goals and only received 2, and made it an absolute nightmare for their rivals, sniffing out and shutting down spaces, as well as counter-attacking effectively, scoring at a very high rate. Another strong rival walks in to Querétaro on Sunday night at 8 ET (7 CT). That team is León, who are 4th place overall, but have had one issue bugging them all season long: goalscoring. I predict they will continue to struggle in that department and Gallos will find a way to grab an early lead and run away with it. I don’t predict them putting up another 4 spot as they have in their previous two home games, considering León’s stellar defense. But I do predict them to remain undefeated at home and overcome Ambriz’s squad.