Several teams that are desperate for three points to improve their situations meet in the seventh week of the Clausura.
|Friday, February 14|
|Saturday, February 15|
|Sunday, February 16|
All times p.m., Eastern.
Morelia - America
The capital media will cast an America in crisis if Las Aguilas lose a second straight, but Monarcas are the team that should come in with desperation. Already out of the Copa Libertadores group stage, the Liguilla knockout stage might be out of reach if it can't improve. The club's only league win this season came four long weeks ago against last-place Tigres. A win against America will be a tall task, but getting a point seems almost mandatory for the hosts.
Santos - Tijuana
Americans Herculez Gomez and Edgar Castillo head to their former club, which is coming off a Copa Libertadores win against Arsenal (the one in Argentina, not England). Santos has, however, been hit with a bit of an injury bug with young star Alonso Escoboza joining Javier Orozco on the injury list, but with Oribe Peralta scoring midweek and Carlos Darwin Quintero also looking strong, Santos should still have enough firepower to extend Xolos' woeful run of form on the road.
Cruz Azul - Puebla
Cruz Azul scored in the first minute last week but then allowed an equalizer, seeming to leave open the possibility that it wasn't invincible. It proceeded to score three second-half goals to easily dispatch Atlante. With La Maquina putting together five consecutive victories, Puebla won't be thrilled to see another big club on the fixture list after losing 1-0 to Chivas last weekend.
Veracruz - Toluca
Toluca bounced back from defeat last week to put a 2-0 score line up on Chiapas. With Veracruz struggling, the Red Devils should be able to keep their spot at the top, or perhaps move into a tie at the top if Cruz Azul slips up. However, Veracruz does have the hope brought on by a new manager, the eccentric El Chelis. What he'll be able to get out of the side — and what kind of antics he'll pull off the pitch — nobody knows.
Monterrey - Leon
Talk about a game between two clubs that need victories. Leon won the Apertura, and its Copa Libertadores match against Flamengo this week, but has been poor in the Clausura. Monterrey hasn't bounced back from a poor Apertura, and capitulated to Tijuana last week after it scored the opener. Each team will search out its second win and a sign that glory can be achieved in this tournament when they meet in La Sultana del Norte.
Pachuca - Atlante
Pachuca is continuing to ascend up the table, with a nice win against America last week pushing its total to 10 points. That makes the result the previous week, a 1-0 loss to Atlas, all the more puzzling. Atlante showed it had a bit of fight, though it eventually lost 4-1 to Cruz Azul, but the onus is on Pachuca to avoid dropping another result at home to a relegation candidate.
Chiapas - Tigres
Tigres still sit at the foot of the table but have at least stirred the past two weeks, managing draws against rival Monterrey and Santos. Meanwhile, Chiapas has been somewhat quietly good, with last week's loss to Toluca snapping a two-match win streak. Either way, both clubs have been improving, and there's reason to believe this should be a good contest.
Pumas - Atlas
Pumas were limping along, like they did during the Apertura, but have sprung to life and run off three victories in the last three weeks to put them at fourth in the table. Atlas too has been better recently than it was at the start of the season, with three points in its last two matches. Still, it will have to find an answer for Golden Boot leader Martin Bravo, who already has six goals for Pumas, if it's going to go into the Olimpico and come out with a Sunday afternoon victory.
Chivas - Queretaro
Both of these clubs had slipped into a lull after a hot start to the season but got back into the win column last week. Both sides will be eager to solidify their Liguilla positions and start a bit of a streak. Chivas, somewhat strangely, is without a win in its last three home matches across all competitions, while Queretaro is average on the road. The Sunday nightcap could go either way.