Big clubs Monterrey and Cruz Azul face off in primetime while Atlas looks to continue its hot streak in the fifth round of Liga MX action.
|Friday, August 15|
|Saturday, August 16|
|8:00||Monterrey||-||Cruz Azul||Univision Deportes|
|Sunday, August 17|
All times p.m. ET
Leon defeated Pumas 2-1 Thursday.
Queretaro - Veracruz
Two surprise teams with color-animal nickname combinations face off Friday. The Gallos Blancos of Queretaro have run off three wins after a Week 1 defeat while the Tiburones Rojos have stayed undefeated after their opening loss with two draws and last week's 2-1 upset of Monterrey. Camilo has been on the board three times, and Veracruz will look to shut him down — which is possible since the back line has allowed only two goals thus far. Ricardo Osorio misses out with an injury for the hosts while Jesus Sanchez does the same for Veracruz.
Tijuana - Chiapas
In the buildup to the match, Tijuana players have noted that they need to return to the club's signature: being good at home. Xolos need to be good somewhere and fast. They remain one of three teams left that are yet to win a contest. Last week's scoreless draw against similarly winless Morelia may have inspired confidence in what had been a shaky defense, but there will be goals needed as well. Chiapas will test that back line more than Morelia did and los Jaguares showed last week with a 3-2 win against Leon that they're serious about making the Liguilla this season, though both of their wins have come at home.
America - Morelia
The league's high flyers welcome the cellar dwellers in a match that — on paper at least — looks relatively academic. Not only has America accumulated four wins in four matches, while Morelia has only two draws in the same number of matches, but las Aguilas are also bringing Rubens Sambueza back into the squad. But, of course, this game marks the end of life without leading scorer Raul Jimenez, who is off to Atletico Madrid on a transfer, and Miguel Layun is out with an injury. They bought Oribe Peralta in preparation for his departure, and Monarcas are yet to score a goal this tournament, so the team should be prepared. But Turco Mohamed will caution his team against overlooking Saturday's opposition.
Puebla - Tigres
Last week's fall against America has taken a bit of the luster off Tigres' start that saw them undefeated through three weeks. The club will be eager to bounce back, and Puebla might be the side to do it against. La Franja have lost their last two matches, failing to score in each. With Michael Orozco and Efrain Cortes missing out for the hosts, Orozco having been sent off last week and Cortes still serving his suspension for spitting at a Tijuana player in Week 1, Tigres' attackers will be licking their chops.
Monterrey - Cruz Azul
Two of the historically big teams square off this weekend in a primetime fixture. But both teams enter needing a boost in morale. Rayados was handed its first loss of the league last week and also dropped a cup match while Cruz Azul is only now showing signs of the team that was the consensus pick to win the Apertura. Monterrey hosts the match, which will be a help, but is also limping into the contest with four regulars out because of injury. La Maquina will look to take advantage and continue climbing the table.
Atlas - UDG
The Leones Negros of UDG have yet to win since their return to the top flight but were able to nab their first point of the tournament last weekend with a scoreless draw against Toluca. Still, it will be a tall task to beat Guadalajara rival Atlas, which has looked very strong and, along with America, is one of the only undefeated teams left in the league. It should be an excellent atmosphere at the Estadio Jalisco, which is both teams' home ground, but it's tough to see the fans witnessing anything but an Atlas victory.
Toluca - Pachuca
Here are two teams that have talented lineups and have achieved some success in recent years but haven't dashed out of the gate this season. Toluca has won just once in four and couldn't find a breakthrough in a scoreless draw with new Liga MX side Leones Negros last week. Pachuca may be on the right path after blasting Chivas, 3-0. That does seem to clear up some of the concern about the lack of attacking firepower, but worries will return if Tuzos aren't able to put one past the Red Devils.
Chivas - Santos
The midseason tour of the U.S. doesn't seem to have done Chivas any favors in their quest to return to Mexico's elite. They were welcomed back with a 3-0 defeat at Tuzos and now must lick their wounds and face a Santos side that has looked strong this season but couldn't defend home turf against Queretaro last week. Santos hasn't struggled historically at the Estadio Omnilife, winning two, drawing one and losing one of the four meetings the teams have had there.