By DANIEL PRICE
With half the sides having yet to record more than one league victory in the Clausura, the unpredictability of this season’s championship should provide for an exciting round of fixtures this weekend.
The standout fixture sees Club Tijuana visit Santos Laguna in a northern Mexico derby, with three former Guerreros returning to face their old club. Edgar Castillo, Fernando Arce and Herculez Gomez have all won championships with the Torreón club, but are likely to face a hostile reception on Friday night.
Santos go into the game in ninth place, only two points outside the playoff places, despite winning only once all season. Oribe Peralta has yet to score a league goal in in 2014, but did succeed in scoring the only goal of the game in Santos’ opening Copa Libertadores fixture against Arsenal de Sarandi on Tuesday. The club will hope the blow of losing midfielder Alonso Escoboza to injury for the next two months will not prove too costly.
Meanwhile, the Xolos have not won away from home in more than a year – the longest streak of any side in the division. With the halfway point of the season approaching, it is clear Club Tijuana need to start picking up more points outside of Tijuana. Last week they earned a deserved three points after coming from behind to beat Monterrey, 2-1, in a game in which the defense looked stronger than in previous fixtures this season.
Manager Cesar Farias will hope his backline can now maintain that level of performance for the remainder of the season and that his team can go on to secure a top eight finish.
Elsewhere, league leaders Cruz Azul host Puebla, Club America will try to avenge last week’s 1-0 home loss to Pachuca when they travel to Morelia, and the underperforming duo of Monterrey and Leon will face off at the Estadio Tecnologico.
Here’s a full rundown of this weekend’s schedule in the Liga MX, complete with TV listings:
8:30pm – Morelia vs. Club America – Azteca America/ESPN Deportes
10pm – Santos vs. Club Tijuana – Univision Deportes
6pm – Cruz Azul vs. Puebla – Univision
6pm – Veracruz vs. Toluca – Univision Deportes
8pm – Monterrey vs. Club Leon – UniMás
8pm – Pachuca vs. Atlante – Univision Deportes
10pm – Chiapas vs. Tigres UANL – Univision Deportes
1pm – Pumas UNAM vs. Atlas – Univision Deportes
6pm – Chivas de Guadalajara vs. Queretaro – UniMás