Derby Double and the Storylines to Watch in Liga MX for This Weekend

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 2015

Derby Double and the Storylines to Watch in Liga MX for This Weekend

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    Christian Palma/Associated Press

    The Liga MX is back after a one-week hiatus. Matchday 12 promises a lot of excitement, with two derbies happening on Saturday.

    Guadalajara will visit Atlas at Estadio Jalisco, a stadium that Chivas called home before moving out to Estadio Omnilife.

    In Mexico City, Cruz Azul will look to keep their unbeaten streak alive when they visit America at Estadio Azteca.

    The fight to grab the lead of the tournament is tighter than ever, with Tijuana and Veracruz separated from each other by only one point.

    Let's take a look.

Cruz Azul vs. America

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    Christian Palma/Associated Press

    America are going through quite a crisis.

    Everything started in the CONCACAF Champions League when they lost 3-0 to Herediano. Two days later, they faced Veracruz in Matchday 11 of the 2015 Clausura and left with a 4-0 defeat.

    Finally, they faced Mexican club Necaxa, a second-division team, in a friendly match. Las Aguilas couldn't overturn their latest results and lost 3-1.

    So that's 10 goals in three games. Gustavo Matosas' job is on the line, and the 'Clasico Joven' is around the corner.

    The last time these two met, during the 2014 Apertura, America had only lost once in 11 weeks. La Maquina trashed Las Aguilas 4-0 at Estadio Azul.

    But this season, things haven't been easy for Cruz Azul, either. They have won once in the past five matchdays, while Roque Santa Cruz, their top signing, has spent more time on the bench than on the pitch because of an injury.

Atlas vs. Guadalajara

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    Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

    Jose Manuel de la Torre has slowly turned things around for Guadalajara, and the team sits third in the general table with 20 points.

    This weekend they face Atlas in the Clasico Tapatio. The last time Chivas defeated the Rojinegros was in the 2012 Apertura, but the game took place at Estadio Omnilife.

    This could be the first time Guadalajara secures the win at the Estadio JaliscoΒ while playing as the away team.

    Atlas haven't had a walk in the park in 2015. They have had to focus not only in the local league but also in the Copa Libertadores, where they have lost two of their three games.

    In the 2015 Clausura, they have a 5-2-4 record, with two defeats in the past four matchdays.

Veracruz Could Leave the Relegation Race for Good

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    Christian Palma/Associated Press

    Veracruz has surprised everyone this season.

    Tiburones Rojos have only lost once, less than any other team, and are the second-best club of the 2015 Clausura.

    This weekend they face Tigres at Estadio Universitario, where they won last in 2008.

    A victory this weekend could very well guarantee Veracruz their permanence in the first division.

    If they defeat UANL, Tiburones Rojos could lose three games and draw another two and they'd still stay in the Liga MX, even if the other teams in the relegation race won all their matches.

But Not Puebla

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    Christian Palma/Associated Press

    Puebla sit at the bottom of the relegation table, despite being eighth in the general table.

    La Franja have to win this weekend to keep the dream alive. If they lose to Toluca, they will complicate their permanence in the first division more than they ever have.

    If they secure three points against Diablos Rojos, they will build momentum for Matchday 13, where they are set to meet Leones Negros in a game that will be key to define who leaves the first division.

    With Guadalajara and Veracruz playing consistently, the real fight to stay is between Puebla and Leones Negros.

A New Leader Could Be on Its Way

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Tijuana are still atop the general table with 23 points, thanks to seven victories, two draws and two defeats.

    But Xolos are not alone. Veracruz is just one point behind, and their recent 4-0 win over America will boost their confidence against Tigres.

    Moreover, Tiburones Rojos' victory would push Tijuana to do the same against Monterrey; otherwise, they will lose the lead.

    Don't count out Guadalajara. A combination of results can put them in a tie for the lead with Tijuana or Veracruz, or even both.

Julio Furch's Momentum

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    Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

    The Argentine leads the top-scorers table with six goals in 10 appearances.

    He has been instrumental in helping Veracruz leave the relegation zone behind and fight for a spot in the Liguilla, which they have missed since the 2004 Apertura.

    If Furch can keep his momentum going and finish the season as the best scorer, it would be the first time a Veracruz footballer accomplished the feat since the short tournaments were instated.

    All stats appear courtesy of MedioTiempo.com and ESPN FC, unless otherwise noted.

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