6 Bold Predictions for Liga MX Week 12
The Liga MX keeps getting better by the minute, and with just five weeks to go, it's time that the clubs put all their chips in, if they want to secure a place in the 2014 Apertura Liguilla.
America are still in control of the general table, with 26 points and a plus-14 goal difference. This week they'll face Cruz Azul in the "Clasico Joven" (Young Derby), which is by far the most anticipated match of the week.
Monterrey trail Las Aguilas closely, with 22 points and a pending game. They will face Tijuana, one of the most inconsistent teams of the season.
Morelia will try to secure their second win of the tournament, but they will need to make a titanic effort to leave the bottom of the table.
Guadalajara's future is uncertain, and as time goes by it seems that the scenario won't get better soon.
Let's take a look at six bold predictions for this weekend.
Leon Will Contain Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho has appeared three times with Queretaro in the Liga MX, and he has scored twice, against Atlas and Guadalajara.
The Brazilian has also completed 84 percent of the passes he has sent, 57 of them to the front and 52 to the back, according to Squawka.
Dinho's arrival has generated positive changes in the team, including more dynamism in the last third of the pitch, as well as a new formation, 4-3-3.
Gallos Blancos are set to face Leon at Estadio Corregidora. The biggest challenge for La Fiera will be keeping a tight defense, which hasn't been their strongest line thus far.
Leon have conceded 20 goals, which puts them as the second-worst defense of the tournament. They have a 3-0-8 record, their worst since 2002.
Morelia Will Stun Santos Laguna
Morelia won their first game of the tournament in Matchday 10. Monarcas defeated Universidad de Guadalajara 1-2 at Estadio Jalisco, but went back to their old ways in Week 11 against Pachuca.
Jose Cruz has managed to make key adjustments, especially in the back line. In the first seven games, when Angel David Comizzo was in charge, Monarcas allowed 17 goals. In the following games they have only conceded six.
So far they sit last in the general table with a 1-3-7 record, and their upcoming game won't be a walk in the park.
Santos Laguna come from two painful defeats and one draw. They have three of the most feared forwards of the Liga MX: Yair Renteria, Javier Orozco and Darwin Quintero.
Moreover, Los Guerreros have only lost to Morelia five times on home soil.
Cruz Azul Will End America's Winning Streak
America sit atop the general table with 26 points. They have only lost one game and have grabbed points in all their away matches.
The players are going through a superb period. Miguel Layun is the team's top scorer, with a total tally of six, while Moises Munoz has only allowed seven goals.
Antonio Mohamed has used different formations, depending on the opponent. He has worked with his usual 5-3-2, but has also tried the traditional 4-4-2 with the same success, which proves his team's flexibility.
This week they'll face Cruz Azul at Estadio Azul.
La Maquina have only secured three victories, all of them on home soil. However they have also lost twice on their turf.
One of Cruz Azul's biggest problems is the lack of finishing touch. They have only scored eight times in 11 weeks.
The last time Las Aguilas overpowered them at the Estadio Azul was in the 2009 Apertura.
Tijuana Will Win at Estadio Tecnologico
Monterrey haven't lost at Estadio Tecnologico since last March. During the 2014 Apertura they have four victories and two draws on home soil.
Rayados have the sixth best offense of the tournament, as they have scored 15 goals, as well as the second best defense, with seven goals against.
They come from two successive wins, against Atlas and Leon, and still have one pending match.
Meanwhile, Tijuana have only two victories this season and have yet to win outside Estadio Caliente.
Xolos lack depth and consistency, mostly because they have averaged 49 percent possession and 46 percent shot accuracy, as per Squawka.
In the last third of the pitch they depend a lot on Dario Benedetto, who has scored four goals, plus two assists.
Toluca Will Lose on Home Soil
It has been one year since Toluca lost at Estadio Nemesio Diez. In September 2013, Cruz Azul defeated them 1-2.
After a shaky start, which included two wins, two draws and two defeats in their first six games, Diablos Rojos accumulated four victories in the following five weeks.
Toluca have put the ball away 15 times, seven of those from set pieces. They also have 84 percent pass accuracy, according to Squawka.
This week they'll face Puebla. La Franja will try to secure their second win since Jose Luis Sanchez took over the team in Matchday 7.
However, they haven't defeated Diablos Rojos since the 2012 Clausura, when they met at the Estadio Cuauhtemoc. The last time Puebla stunned Toluca on their turf was in the 1996 Invierno tournament.
Guadalajara Will Trash Atlas
Guadalajara will try to make ammends with their fans when they face Atlas at Estadio Omnilife.
Chivas have a 2-4-4 record so far and after losing 3-1 to Toluca in Matchday 11, coach Carlos Bustos resigned.
The club's crisis is not new. They have missed the Liguilla since the 2013 Clausura, and have only won 12 of the last 62 games (2013 Clausura to 2014 Apertura).
Meanwhile, Atlas are having a stellar season, their best since the 2013 Clausura. Los Zorros sit third in the general table, with 21 points and a 6-3-2 record.
Tomas Boy has managed to create a group that works fine in every line. They have allowed 11 goals and have put the ball away 15 times.
All stats appear courtesy of ESPN FC unless otherwise noted.