Five to watch in Liga MX Week 6
This season truly feels as if it just started last week, which might not be a good thing for a few teams that also feel that way.
Squads such as Chivas, Pumas, Cruz Azul and Club Tijuana have had subpar starts and are playing as if they still have time to make a difference. Yes, all they need to do to make it into the playoffs is finish in the top eight, but it might be hard to catch up when certain teams have begun to take off.
America and Atlas are the only undefeated squads left in the Apertura and have all but guaranteed their playoff spots. Both squads have breezed through the competition and seem to be confident with their current momentum.
Will these patterns continue? There may be a few games to watch this weekend that have the potential to disrupt the league table -- and perhaps even surprise a few fans.
Here are my five matches to watch during Week 6 of the Liga MX Apertura.
1. Morelia vs. Tigres
This game should be an easy one for Tigres, but Morelia recently proved that they are capable of pulling off an upset.
Everything seemed to click for Los Canarios against America over the weekend. Their goalkeeper, Carlos Rodriguez, had a fantastic performance and the Morelia attack wasn't at all abysmal, as it has been in the past. If both pieces can click like they did against America, the team may gain their first win of the season on Friday.
Tigres have been a bit underwhelming so far this tournament and need a win against Morelia to lift their spirits. Their 4-2 win over Leon has provided them with their only highlights this Apertura and they have yet to find a win away from home.
2. Cruz Azul vs. Queretaro
What has happened to La Maquina? The Mexico City team has collected only one win so far and are still recovering from an embarrassing 1-0 loss to Chorrillo FC on Tuesday in the CONCACAF Champions League. It's even more disconcerting for the squad when one considers the fact that their only win (against Puebla earlier this month) was due to an own goal.
This is where Los Gallos Blancos come in. Cruz Azul are highly vulnerable at the moment and look ready to once again stutter against their competition -- especially one that has Camilo Da Silva Sanvezzo. Sanvezzo has accumulated two goals and assists in his past two matches for Queretaro.
3. Chiapas vs. America
This gets the official stamp for "Game of the Weekend." Chiapas have been a goal-hungry team this season, with nine in their first five games. The squad has yet to lose at home, but has also given up 10 goals in the same amount of matches.
America are by far the most dominant team in the Liga MX this tournament and have the potential to knock in a few goals against a poor defensive side like Chiapas. That being said, Las Aguilas struggled against Morelia and it will be interesting to see what a more attack-minded squad like Chiapas can do against America.
4. Pumas vs. Club Tijuana
Both teams need points, especially Pumas. Now that Jose Luis Trejo is gone, the team will no longer have a scapegoat when it comes to losses. Their first game without Trejo, a 2-1 loss to Merida on Wednesday, does not bode well for the team. Pumas have lost four straight games in the Liga MX and desperately need a win.
Los Xolos have also struggled to find points but have been undefeated in their past three matches. The Tijuana team has slowly began to create some cohesion this season and might be able to sneak a narrow win over Pumas this Sunday.
5. Leones Negros vs. Leon
Leones Negros are undoubtedly the worst team in the Liga MX this Apertura. Their defensive woes have been humiliating and they have only been able to score once this season. The recently promoted team needs to begin scoring goals, and soon, if they want to remain relevant in the league.
Leon have had some recent success, but are far from the convincing side they were a year ago. Their 6-0 loss to Barcelona on Monday is enough of an explanation for their current mood and I imagine the squad is craving to bounce back. Will Leon falter once again? Will Leones Negros finally maintain some composure in a match?
Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.