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Apr 25, 2014

Liga MX Preview: Expect goals galore

Only Cruz Azul, Toluca and Pumas are guaranteed entry into the Liguilla, and only Tigres, Atlante, Puebla and Veracruz are guaranteed an omission from the list. This leaves 11 procrastinating squads to finally recognize the need for not only points, but goals as well. Five spots are left, and I hope that there will be plenty of high-scoring and exciting matches this weekend. If not, there's always England's Premier League.

- Faitelson: What killed Leon in the Libertadores? - Canales: Cruz Azul claim CONCACAF

Here are five things to consider (and watch) this weekend for the Liga MX.

1. The Friday games -- Club Queretaro vs. Pachuca, Club Tijuana vs. Leon

All right, so these are not technically on the weekend but they're close enough. Both matches will help set the tone for the rest of the weekend, and all four squads are still in contention for making it into the Liguilla. Due to the fact that Queretaro and Pachuca both have 21 points, most squads will have their fingers crossed that their match ends in a tie. As for Tijuana and Leon, Los Xolos are flirting with a playoff spot but could still miss out through goal differential if they lose their game. Speaking of goals ...

2. Enner Valencia

It's no secret that Enner Valencia has been on a great scoring run for Pachuca this season. He currently leads the league in goals and has been a vital member of the Pachuca squad. He may also prove to be the difference against Queretaro. Queretaro have the advantage of playing at home and also haven't lost a game in five straight. Pachuca, on the other hand, haven't won a match since matchday 12 and only have a tenuous grasp on eighth place because of goal difference. Valencia has scored five of Pachuca's last five goals and will have the huge responsibility of salvaging his team.

3. Veracruz vs. Santos

I was somewhat on the fence (perhaps touchline is more appropriate) when it came to adding this match on the preview. One would assume that the game would be pretty much straightforward: Santos just need a tie, and Veracruz are essentially out ... of everything. Yet Veracruz have nothing to lose at home and this will be Santos' fifth game in 14 days. Santos will also be attempting to bounce back from an embarrassing early exit from the Copa Libertadores earlier this week. I can see Santos almost losing the match, and I wouldn't be too surprised if they completely fell apart.

4. Chivas vs. Monterrey

There are so many variables going into this game, which is why it makes it so exciting. It's going to be the last game of the matchday and that means both squads will know exactly what they need to do before the match. All permutations will be considered and finalized before the kickoff. Then again, there is also a small chance that both teams will not be able to make the Liguilla before they even step onto the field. Humberto Suazo has been the newfound leader for Monterrey after his injury, and Ricardo La Volpe might shock everybody with his own leadership at Chivas.

5. Goal differential

Easy enough. With a one-point difference between seventh place and 14th place, scoring goals will be important. I know that truly feels like a simple thing to say, but it's true. The first tiebreaker for the Liguilla is goal difference, then goals in favor, and then the scores against the squads that are tied in points. If you want to go into more detail (and if it's still tied), it goes to the amount of goals that you scored in away games. I'm not sure what's after that; perhaps a rock-paper-scissors game.

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