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The regular season of the 2015 Apertura concludes this weekend. Pumas UNAM have already been confirmed as the Super Lider, while Toluca, Tigres UANL, America, and Leon have all booked their place alongside them in the post-season.
Liga MX regular season draws to a close – Liguilla spots up for grabs
11/20/2015
 
Pumas vs America, Clausura 2015 tournament


By Dan Price


The regular season of the 2015 Apertura concludes this weekend. Pumas UNAM have already been confirmed as the Super Lider, while Toluca, Tigres UANL, America, and Leon have all booked their place alongside them in the post-season.


Behind that five-some, however, five more teams are fighting for the three remaining slots. Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, Monterrey, and Morelia are the teams in question, and each will be hopeful of getting the three points and ensuring their season doesn’t end early.

Queretaro vs Puebla (Friday, 8:30pm ET)

Queretaro-

It’s been a season to forget for the Clausura runners-up Queretaro, they sit eleventh in the league and cannot now claim one of the Liguilla berths.


Puebla, on the other hand, have enjoyed a memorable six months. They only escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth in the summer, but new boss Pablo Marini has got the side playing with a verve and veracity that looked a long way off under Jose ‘Profe’ Cruz.


They’ve opened up a five point cushion over Morelia in the Tabla de Descenso, and their solid form has now put them within touching distance of a first post-season since the Apertura of 2009.


A draw will guarantee them a spot, while they could still qualify with a loss if other results go in their favor.


Prediction: Queretaro 2-2 Puebla

Morelia vs Veracruz (Saturday, 9:30pm ET)

The match between Morelia and Veracruz is the only game of the weekend which sees two Liguilla contenders go head-to-head. Neither side’s berth is assured, though the slight advantage lies with Veracruz.


Morelia go into the game in tenth place with a goal difference of +1. It means they have to win and hope that either Monterrey fail to beat Toluca, Puebla lose to Queretaro, or Chiapas lose to Toluca with a two goal swing in Morelia’s favor.


Veracruz, who currently sit eighth, would qualify with a draw if Monterrey don’t win, while a win would guarantee them a berth.


Prediction: Morelia 2-1 Veracruz

America vs Pumas UNAM (Saturday, 6pm ET)

Club America-

On the face of it there isn’t much at stake in the Clasico Capitalino between America and Pumas this weekend. Both sides are already assured of a Liguilla place, and both managers could rightly be more concerned about getting through the game without injuries than inflicting a morale-damaging defeat on their rivals.


America, however, will also be keen to ensure they stay in the top four places so they have the benefit of the tie-break in case of an aggregate draw in the playoffs. Las Aguilas are fourth with 27 points going into the weekend, and with just three points separating Toluca in second (29) from Puebla in seventh (26), America could feasibly drop a long way if they lose.


There is also the issue of Liguilla opponents – at the moment the four strongest sides on paper occupy the top four spots; America will want to make sure they don’t drop to fifth or lower and end up playing one of them.


Prediction: America 1-1 Pumas UNAM

 
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