Liga MX Talking Points: Clash of undefeateds Monterrey, Cruz Azul leads Round 7

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The league's two remaining teams without a loss meet in Mexico City, while two hopefuls have to go all in. Goal previews the Liga MX weekend...

We're almost there. Managers are eagerly looking forward to this weekend being over, when they can take a breath during the international break and work on things that have been too small to focus on during this busy stretch of Liga MX matches.

But we still have a full round of matches after the midweek games and last weekend's contests. Let's take a look at what Round 7 will have in store for us. Beyond the potential for fatigued players, there's also a meeting between an undefeated team and a young forward visiting a familiar setting in a new shirt. Here we go:


It's a big weekend for ... Julian Quinones


Julian Quinones Lobos BUAP

Newly promoted Lobos BUAP is just hanging on to financial solvency, as the team literally asks fans for donations, and to the final playoff position in Liga MX. Luckily for the club, its best player so far costs very little.

That would be young forward Julian Quinones, who is on loan from Tigres and returns to Monterrey this week to face off with his parent club. With a return possible, perhaps it's wise that Quinones doesn't plan to celebrate if he adds to the five goals he's scored already this season.

"I'm very thankful to Tigres, for the opportunity they gave me by opening the doors here in Mexico," the 20-year-old told reporters "I'll respect them on the field of play, as I always have, and face Tigres like any other opponent."

The Colombian stood out in U-20 matches with Tigres and is continuing to show his finishing skill in the first division. Lobos BUAP need him to be focused and continue racking up the goals. A missed penalty against Atlas hurt during the week. This is a club that can use all the help it can get, especially against a juggernaut like Tigres. If Quinones can score against the players he used to see in training, it would be a huge boost for the visitors.


Game of the Week ... Cruz Azul vs. Monterrey


Edgar Mendez Cruz Azul

The league's two remaining undefeated teams meet in the Estadio Azul on Saturday, in what clearly is the top match of the weekend. Monterrey has been much more impressive, both in the run of play and in getting results. Cruz Azul enters the contest with two wins and four draws, while it's five victories and just one stalemate for Antonio Mohamed's men.

Monterrey victory 6/4 with dabblebet

Rayados are definitely clicking. Aviles Hurtado's move from Tijuana has done little to knock him out of rhythm as he enjoys playing in the same side as Carlos Sanchez, Dorlan Pabon and Rogelio Funes Mori. And a move away from Cruz Azul looks to have been a breath of fresh air for Jorge "Conejo" Benitez, who scored just two minutes after coming on in a 4-1 win over Toluca during the week.

Cruz Azul's newcomers also have helped Paco Jemez's men, though. Edgar Mendez has four goals, including his strike from the spot in a 1-1 draw with Necaxa during the week, and Chilean forward Felipe Mora has scored twice in league play and once in the cup. The real boost for La Maquina, though, has been at the back where Jordan Silva and Enzo Roco have consolidated the middle and goalkeeper Jesus Corona is back in top form.

They'll run up against a real test in Monterrey's sterling front line, which should make for viewing befitting the match of the week. 


Keep an eye out for ... Teams going all in at the Caliente


Eduardo Coudet Tijuana

By the time you read this, this Friday night feature may already be complete, but it should be worth looking back at the highlights. The two managers are young South Americans who are asking their teams to play an attacking style of soccer. After rocky starts to the tournament, the message finally is getting through.

Both teams are undefeated in their last three games and are playing more like fans are used to seeing Diego Alonso teams play at Pachuca and were hoping to see from Eduardo Coudet at Tijuana. Both also are getting exciting new additions. Keisuke Honda finally made his debut for Tuzos during the midweek win over Veracruz, scoring in the 4-1 triumph, while Tijuana presented new forward Juan Manuel Iturbe earlier this week.

There may be room for both teams in the Liguilla, but Friday's matchup should see each manager throwing in all his chips and going all in at the Caliente, looking to keep the positive momentum going. For Coudet specifically, establishing himself as a coach who can take advantage of the Estadio Caliente's quirks, like its artificial turf, in the same way other coaches have in the past makes this game an extra-important one. 


Quote of the Week


Jaine Barreiro Atlas

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After Atlas defender Jaine Barreiro had his red card from Saturday's game rescinded, he was again sent off in the midweek game against Lobos BUAP. Some media outlets reported it's the first time in league history that a player has been red carded in consecutive matches, since a suspension typically follows. For Barreiro's teammate, attacker Fidel Martinez, neither decision was a good one.

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