Mexican Jornada 5 Preview

Cruz Azul-America will highlight the slate of games during the upcoming week in Mexico, which also features the Monterrey derby between Tigres and Monterrey.
A pair of Clasicos highlight the slate for Jornada 5 of the Mexican Apertura 2009 season. Cruz Azul-America will kick off the week while Tigres-Monterrey will follow suit afterward.

All but two games will be played on Saturday as the slate is a busy one. And while the focus will be on the derby matches played in Mexico City and Monterrey, one of the more attractive matchups will play out in Estadio Jalisco as Atlas hosts unbeaten and superlider Morelia. Game Of The Week

Cruz Azul vs. America, Saturday 6 p.m. ET

The Clasico Joven looks to be exciting. Cruz Azul will be coming from a 3-2 defeat against Santos and will try to redeem themselves against America. They also started their 2009-2010 Champions League campaign with a 2-0 win over Costa Rican power Saprissa midweek. Things were different over the weekend at the Estadio Azteca, and America were finally able to win at home and defeated Atlas 2-1. As usual, Salvador Cabañas was at hand to score a goal. Cruz Azul should be worried as Cabañas has scored against them 12 times, but they will try to win once more against America; their last victory came on May 4, 2003 with a 3-1 score line. Only Edgar Andrade will be out for Cruz Azul. Permanently missing from Cruz Azul will be Luis Angel Landin after his joining the MLS’ Houston Dynamo. America will have all of their players available for their clash.  

Prediction: Cruz Azul 2-1


Estudiantes vs. Pumas, 9 p.m. ET

The Mexican champions continued their free fall after losing to Tigres 2-1. Meanwhile, Estudiantes received a lovely surprise beating Jaguares 1-0. It’s vital for Pumas to start gathering points during the Jornada 5 as they currently have gained zero points at home as well as on the road. Now, Estudiantes will host Pumas at home and hope to gain more for their campaign. Efrain Juarez and Dario Veron will both be gone from the Pumas line up because of suspensions from the previous game, so along with not getting any reinforcements for the campaign, Pumas will have to make due without two important players. Estudiantes will have a complete team at their hand to try and add to Pumas’ losing streak.  

Prediction: Estudiantes, 2-1


Queretaro vs. Jaguares, 6 p.m. ET

Both teams are entering the Jornada 5 with a previous loss. Queretaro quickly dismantled at the hands of Chivas, eventually losing 2-0. Jaguares were beaten by Estudiantes at home and remain with 6 points for the Apertura 2009. So far, Queretaro have lost two and drawn one upon their return to the Primera Division, but still have a game in hand against Atlante. For the upcoming game Queretaro will be without Hector “Pirata” Castro due to suspension, and Jose Guadeloupe Cruz because of injury. Jaguares will have everyone at hand, plus new addition Cristian Alvarez from Chile to reinforce at the back.  

Prediction: Jaguares, 2-0

Indios vs. San Luis, 8 p.m. ET

Indios' gritty defensive image went by the wayside a week in a 5-0 shellacking at Morelia a week ago. The club might be shellshocked now as they prepare to hose San Luis, a club who scored three goals of their own a week ago. Indios have not had any offensive success this season, as the club has yet to score a goal. Their minus-seven goal differential is not something to be proud of either, and their negative goal differential will likely stick around for the duration of the season. San Luis' goal surge from a week ago will put the hosts on heightened alert but won't do much to prevent los Gladiadores from walking away with a victory.

Prediction: San Luis, 1-0.

Pachuca vs. Puebla, 8 p.m. ET

Los Tuzos suffered a pair of setbacks over the last seven days that have been nothing short of embarrassing. First, Pachuca lost to San Luis by 3-1, a result that was practically the opposite of what Pachuca had achieved at the start of the campaign. To make matters worse, Pachuca lost on Wednesday at Panamanian side Arabe Unido by an astounding 4-1. Now, Pachuca will face a tough test from a motivated Puebla side. Puebla are just one of two sides yet to lose this season, but the club likely feels they could have gotten at least one win from their three draws. Pachuca returns home, and that could count for something.

Prediction: Draw, 2-2.

Tigres vs. Monterrey, 8 p.m. ET

The second Clasico of the Jornada will no doubt be overshadowed by the one played down in Mexico City, but the Clasico Regiomontano will captivate Monterrey as always. The twist to this season's version is that both sides are doing well. Tigres were on the brink of relegation but an offseason overhaul has already led to a championship as Tigres won the SuperLiga. More importantly for their Primera Division fates, Tigres has been able to keep pace with the rest of the league and have a respectable 2-1-1 record, the same record as Monterrey. Los Rayados need no further motivation to gear up for Tigres. Monterrey staked their claim as the city's best side by reaching the Liguilla last season and need to thwart their crosstown rival's attempt to break through and make a name for themselves. Monterrey's offense has been light - four goals in four games - but the club has allowed just two goals thus far, the fewest in the league. Supporters should expect a low-scoring match.

Prediction: Draw, 1-1.

Atlas vs. Morelia, 9:45 p.m. ET

Morelia’s looks to be unstoppable and show no sign of stopping when they visit Atlas in Jalisco. There is one little problem though. Las Monarcas have not been able to defeat Los Zorros in Jalisco since 1998. The last time Morelia beat Atlas was back in November 18, 1998 where oddly enough both Ricardo La Volpe and Tomas Boy managed their respective teams. Morelia will come into the game as Superlider’s but it will be tough for them to come out as such. Atlas will not be counting with Eduardo Rergis who is injured while Luis Gabriel Rey is doubtful to feature for Morelia.

Prediction: Morelia 1-0

Atlante vs. Chivas, 10 p.m. ET

Atlante will try for their first win at home against Guadalajara. Las Chivas got their first win last week against Queretaro and will hope to make it two in arrow against Atlante. Atlante seemed to be a stronger team after a great showing in the Peace Cup but we are yet to see that same team. They will have one thing going for them on Saturday though. Las Chivas have never seen a victory in Cancun against Atlante. Atlante will not count on José Joel Gonzalez thanks to red he received in the game against Puebla. Giancarlo Maldonado will also miss out since he is in Spain trying to work things out with Spaniard club Xerez. Las Chivas will go with out Sergio Avila and Omar Arellano who are both injured.

Prediction: Chivas 3-1


Toluca vs. Santos, 1 p.m. ET

Toluca was surprisingly defeated by Monterrey 1-0 last week. Los Diablos will try to get back to winning ways and hopefully regain their supremacy when they host Santos on Sunday. Santos dealt a crushing blow to Cruz Azul who seemed to be the stronger team.   Toluca is impenetrable in the Bombonera where they have not lost a game in 12 matches at home. Santos though seems to be gaining more confidence under coach Sergio Bueno as the season wears on. Toluca might not count on Martin Romagnoli and on Hector Mancilla who are doubtful for Sunday’s encounter. Santos on the other hand will have a full squad ready to do battle with the Chorizeros.

Prediction: Draw 1-1

For more coverage of the Mexican Primera Division, visit Mexican football section.