Liga MX Talking Points: Streaking America, quick turnarounds lead Round 6

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Just two days after the previous round concluded, another full slate of games begins Tuesday. Goal looks at the midweek battles

If it seems like just yesterday we were looking back on the fifth round of Liga MX and closing the book on the busy time. That's because it was just yesterday. While Liga MX religiously takes international breaks, something leagues around it both to the north and the south would benefit from as well, it does create situations like this week's where teams will play three games in around seven days.

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That's a problem for the managers, perhaps, and maybe the players themselves. For us? It just means we have more soccer to enjoy.

Let's take a look at the midweek slate and see what teams are hoping to stand out:


It's a big midweek for ... Matias Alustiza


Matias Alustiza Atlas

Matias Alustiza scores goals in Liga MX. He did it with Puebla, he briefly did it with Pachuca (though only five there, his lowest total since arriving in Mexico) and he's now doing it with Atlas. He scored a beautiful goal in Liga MX last weekend, helping Atlas close the distance between itself and Cruz Azul.

But after fellow forward Milton Caraglio took a nasty collision with La Maquina goalkeeper Jesus Corona, even more of the burden for scoring will fall on "El Chavo" this week. Atlas had a lot of hope going into the season but so far those hopes have not become reality. Three losses have followed after the team started with two victories. Some of that is down to the absence of Rafa Marquez, and maybe you could say the mental strife of Marquez being implicated by the U.S. Treasury Department as part of a cartel leader's money-laundering scheme also is affecting the team.

But the issues have gone beyond simply missing Marquez. And the concern goes beyond simply having a bad season. Atlas could be in real danger of relegation if this losing skid turns into a pattern. Only Veracruz is below the Guadalajara side at the moment.

Back at home and facing an energetic Lobos BUAP team, Atlas needs Alustiza to provide another goal - or maybe two - to get back into the win column and make sure their status in the first division is secure.


Game of the Round ... America vs. Tigres


Miguel Herrera Club America

One of the bummers of the jornada doble is that we don't get a Saturday night showdown between these two teams. Still, seeing Las Aguilas and Tigres meet at Estadio Azteca on Wednesday should be plenty entertaining.

Tigres have the depth to cope with this run of games, with coach Tuca Ferretti electing to leave Enner Valencia and Jurgen Damm on the bench in Saturday's win over Pumas. But America, too, is starting to to build a squad worthy of the giant club it is. It's showed in the results. After a defeat to open Miguel Herrera's second act as America manager, the team has won the next four. That streak will be on the line this week. Their depth was boosted as well when Edson Alvarez's red card was rescinded. Alvarez, though, is a doubt because of a knock while Mateus Uribe remains sidelined. Darwin Quintero, Oribe Peralta and Cecilio Dominguez all made way just after the half-hour mark of a 3-2 win over Lobos BUAP as Herrera looked forward to this match and should be fresh.

Both teams bring in attacks that are beginning to understand how to work together with the talented but different pieces which have been assembled. The veteran defenses each side boast will be tested by the attack in what has the potential to be one of the best matches of the first half of the season.


Keep an eye out for ... Chepo vs. Chivas


Chepo de la Torre Santos Laguna

Santos Laguna coach Chepo de la Torre's visiting team comes to the Estadio Corona on Wednesday, but few are thinking about any of the old storylines of revenge or familiarity. With reigning champion Chivas sitting at the bottom of the table and Santos just above them in 17th because of goal difference, these teams simply want points.

Neither have played well, though both have been able to point to a combination of injuries and fatigue as potential excuses for having just three points after five rounds. De La Torre has been working in the days since a 2-0 loss in Tijuana to make sure his players understand where they've gone wrong so they know exactly what they need to correct.

"The first thing is to realize the things we’ve done well, the things we’ve done poorly as well. That’s the first thing: to recognize things and change things to be able to get better and keep growing, both individually and as a group," he said in his pre-match news conference Monday. "There are a lot of circumstances that have happened in the past few games that affected us but we want to keep moving forward and get good results."

Chivas will have center back Jair Pereira available after his red card appeal was successful, but neither teams' defense has been particularly successful so far this tournament. Chivas have conceded eight, with Santos allowing one more. Those marks are bad enough, but take on an even uglier hue when you take into account that both side's have built themselves from the back forward in recent tournaments. The visit from Chepo's former team is one he hopes he can use as a starting point to change that.


Quote of the Week


Tuca Ferretti Tigres Liga MX 08142016

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The Tigres coach was puzzled by the idea some seem to have that his team is going to win every match by a 5-0 scoreline and reminded journalists that, while the team is going to go out and look for a result in every game, it's rarely going to be able to find easy victories in Liga MX. 

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