Puebla vs Santos Laguna – 6:00 PM – Azteca America
An important game for both teams, but for very different reasons. Puebla (15th) is on very precarious ground in the relegation standings, where they’re penultimate and are only staying out of last place due to tiebreakers. On the other hand, a win here could move them as high as 15th, above Leones Negros, Chivas, and Veracruz. The Poblanos are unbeaten in two, but they’re also winless in nine – Puebla has drawn a league-high nine games this season and needs to start picking up all three points if they want to remain in the first division.
As for Santos (9th), the Laguneros are outside of the playoff spots on goal difference, and they need a good result – and some help – to qualify for the Liguilla. They won last time out and are unbeaten in three, but they haven’t won away from home since August. Their best chance of extending their season will come with a win, although there are some possible scenarios that would allow them to qualify with a draw.
América vs Atlas – 6:00 PM – Univision
América (1st) is looking to lock up the highest seed ahead of the playoffs, which they could do with just a draw here, but the Águilas will be looking for a home win to end the regular season. After going winless in their last three games (two draws and a loss), América will want to regain some momentum ahead of the playoffs by defeating Atlas (4th).
Atlas could tie América on points with a win here, but they would need a huge win to overtake the Águilas for the top spot, with América currently having a +11 goal difference to Atlas’s +1. The Rojinegros are not in the best run of form, with just one win in their last four games, and they lost their last away game 4-0. Atlas is already qualified for the playoffs, but the table is tight and they could finish anywhere from first to sixth; they’ll want a win to ensure the best possible seeding for the Liguilla.
Tigres UANL vs Toluca – 8:00 PM – Unimás
Tigres UANL (3rd) and Toluca (2nd) are both angling for playoff seeding here, and both teams have a chance to jump to first place with a win and an América loss. Tigres are unbeaten in their last nine games, with five wins and four draws in that span, and they’ve won three of their last four home games.
As for Toluca, they’re unbeaten in two (a win and a draw) and they’ve done quite well on the road lately too; the Diablos Rojos are unbeaten in their last four road games and have won their last two. These teams have identical goals for and against records (23 for and 16 against) and just one point separates them in the standings. This should be a closely-fought contest.
Leones Negros vs Cruz Azul – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Leones Negros (14th) have climbed up the table on the back of a six-game unbeaten streak, and they have a chance to move off the foot of the relegation table for the first time this season with a positive result here. The Universidad de Guadalajara’s unbeaten run is particularly impressive considering that four of those games were away from home; they’ll now look to close out the season on a high note in front of their own fans.
But Cruz Azul (12th) will have other ideas. As the lowest-positioned team that is still alive in the playoff fight, La Máquina needs a win here – and a considerable amount of help – to qualify for the Liguilla. Cruz Azul has had a torrid season by their lofty standards, and missing out on the playoffs would be thought of as a failure. La Máquina lost last time out, though, and are winless in two. In addition, they haven’t won on the road all season. Even if Cruz Azul defeats Leones, they could still miss out on the playoffs, but if they’re going to go down, expect them to go down fighting (perhaps literally).
Pachuca vs Veracruz – 9:06 PM – Telemundo
Pachuca (8th) missed out on a chance to lock up a playoff spot last week with their controversial 2-1 loss to Santos Laguna, and now they’re facing a must-win game if they want to keep their playoff destiny in their own hands. That loss to Santos ended a five-game unbeaten streak, but even then, three of those games were draws. Pachuca needs a win, and they’ll have to get one with both leading goalscorer Ariel Nahuelpán and defense linchpin Aquivaldo Mosquera suspended.
As for Veracruz (16th), the Tiburones Rojos are fighting to stay above water in the relegation battle and know a loss here could drop them into last place in the Tabla de Cociente. They lost to relegation rivals Leones Negros last week and are winless in their last three; they’ve also only won one away game all season and are the lowest-scoring team in the league. But whether a weakened Pachuca side will be able to take advantage of that remains to be seen.
Jaguares de Chiapas vs Querétaro – 10:00 PM – Univision Deportes
Jaguares de Chiapas (6th) needs just a draw to guarantee their spot in the Liguilla, while Querétaro (10th) needs a win and some help. By the time this game kicks off, the Gallos Blancos should have some idea of if it’s still possible for them to reach the playoffs, since even a win wouldn’t be enough if two of the three teams ahead of them win as well.
Jaguares are on a four-game unbeaten streak and haven’t lost at home all season, while Querétaro has been inconsistent lately, with two wins in their last three, but four losses in their last six. Even the addition of Ronaldinho and the presence of joint-league-leading goalscorer Camilo Sanvezzo has not been enough for the Gallos to shine, and this could be the end of their season.