America and Monterrey, the lone two teams who won their first two Liga MX matches, face tests which highlight this week's slate.
|Friday, August 1|
|Saturday, August 2|
|Sunday, August 3|
All times p.m. Eastern
UDG v. Chivas was rescheduled from August 3 to September 7 to accomadate Chivas' Thursday friendly against Bayern Munich in the United States.
Queretaro - Pachuca
Pachuca has played some lovely football in the first two weeks of the season but couldn't manage to turn that into a win last week against Monterrey. The Gallos Blancos, conversely, didn't impress but were able to get a win against Leones Negros thanks to a strike by Camilo. The hosts' back line was quite poor in an opening 3-1 loss to Pumas but kept a clean sheet last time out. Tuzos attackers like Matias Alustiza, Jurgen Damm and Rodolfo Pizzaro will look to take advantage and prove the club can move on without Enner Valencia.
Tijuana - Tigres
Xolos were beaten cruelly last weekend, with America getting a last-minute equalizer. Victory in the cup during the middle of the week might boost the spirits, but Cesar Farias wasn't hoping for consecutives losses to start the campaign. The bright side? The team looked much improved from the opening-weekend stumble against Puebla. The counterpoint? Tigres is undefeated to start the Apertura after taking advantage of a shaky Leon defense last week to the tune of four goals. That will concern Farias' men, who haven't exactly looked airtight. Tigres' veteran midfielder Damian Alvarez remains out with an injury.
Puebla - America
America remains one of two teams with maximum points in the league after a last-minute goal from Pablo Aguliar clinched victory against Tijuana on Saturday. This weekend, it travels to face a Puebla team with a defense anchored by American Michael Orozco that is yet to concede a goal. Unfortunately for la Franja, they also didn't score last time out but it's been a strong step away from the relegation threat. Knocking America from its perch will take another stern defensive effort but would show the club has a shot at safety.
Cruz Azul - Veracruz
This match may be exactly what the doctor ordered for an ailing Cruz Azul club. The team was widely tipped to be on or near the top of the heap but has had an average start, losing the opener and drawing Santos last weekend. Now, back in the comforts of Estadio Azul and against a team that also comes in with only point the chance is there to right the ship. Will Marco Fabian play with Stuttgart chasing the midfielder? Either way, Luis Fernando Tena's club must forge ahead and start heading in the right direction.
Monterrey - Santos
This tasty matchup might be the best of the weekend, with los Rayados coming in with two wins from two matches and Santos undefeated after a win and a draw. Chupete Suazo seems to be back at full capacity after an injury kept him out during most of the Clausura and Dorlan Pabon made an instant impact off the bench with his winner. Andres Renteria was on the mark for Santos in last week's 1-1 draw with Cruz Azul. While his emergence will be nice in Oribe Peralta's absence, the club would love to see Carlos Darwin Quintero show the form he did last tournament. Santos would love to hang the first defeat of the season on Monterrey but has struggled historically in the Estadio Tecnologico and will be missing Alonso Escoboza and Ribair Rodriguez because of injuries.
Leon - Morelia
It's far too early to say Leon won't grab a third consecutive championship, but it's certainly not looking that way. The defense, anchored by Rafa Marquez and Jonny Magallon has been porous, allowing six goals. A couple of those goals have been absolute howlers from usually sure-handed keeper William Yabrough. The club won't mind seeing Monarcas come to town, as the club has yet to score en route to a draw and a defeat.
Atlas - Chiapas
Two of the league's surprising upstarts do battle with both clubs sitting on four points after opening draws and victories last week. Atlas' 2-0 win against Monarcas may have been a bit more convincing than Chiapas' 2-1 win against Toluca but both clubs have started the season well and are looking to prove they belong in this season's upper echelon. Atlas' defense is yet to allow a goal with American Edgar Castillo playing the left back in Tomas Boy's system. Bruno Pires will miss out for Jaguares after being sent off last week. Rodolfo Vilchis is still yet to make his Atlas debut because of injury.
Toluca - Pumas
The Red Devils have built themselves as a club which is consistently challenging for trophies in all competitions, but the Apertura has started with a bit of a sputter. Pumas started with a bang but were done in by a late Fernando Arce free kick last weekend, dropping a 1-0 result to Chivas. This capital clash will see each club looking to gain a foothold toward the top of the table. David Cabrera is serving a suspension for the visitors with Miguel Ponce doing the same for Toluca.