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The regular season’s final round of fixtures in the Liga MX is rarely a dull affair, and this weekend’s action was no different.
Liguilla line-up confirmed after thrilling final weekend in Mexico
11/23/2015
 
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By: Dan Price


The regular season’s final round of fixtures in the Liga MX is rarely a dull affair, and this weekend’s action was no different.


After all the drama, the line-up for the quarter finals of the Liguilla has now been confirmed; Pumas UNAM will play Veracruz, Toluca will face Puebla, Tigres UANL go head-to-head against Chiapas, and America will do battle against Leon.


America pay for poor form

America’s participation in the Liguilla had been all but assured for the final month of the regular season, possibly leading to their poor end-of-season form which saw them win just one of their final four games of the campaign.


That run of form saw them slip from superlider contender to a final finishing position of sixth, and consequently landed them a tricky quarter final tie against Leon in the process.


After America drew 1-1 against Mexico City rivals Pumas in Saturday’s early kick-off, it always looked like they were going to get a tough quarter final game. For a long time it looked like we’d see them play Tigres in a repeat of the last Apertura’s final, but Chiapas’ hard-fought 3-2 win over Pachuca eventually saw Las Aguilas end up 

with a game against 2013-14’s back-to-back champions.


It remains to be seen whether boss Ignacio Ambriz could survive a quarter final defeat.


Veracruz enter Liguilla for second consecutive season

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It’s hard to believe that 12 months ago Veracruz were widely considered to be one of the favourites for the drop.


At the end of the 2014 Apertura, Los Tiburones Rojos finished 17th in the table, with just three wins and 15 points collected all season. In the following Clausura they turned their form around spectacularly, ending in third place in the regular season before losing to eventual finalists Queretaro in dramatic fashion in the quarter finals.


This season they’ve proved that their last campaign wasn’t a one-off, and that they really are one of the stronger sides in the division. The goals of Julio Furch and the defensive astuteness of Leobardo Lopez have helped make Carlos Reinoso’s men are a well-drilled and organised unit, and they could be underdogs for a title shot.


Who are the title favourites?

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On paper, America, Tigres, and Toluca have the strongest sides. Tigres and Toluca will also be very happy with how the fixtures for the quarter finals emerged, and both will be confident of landing themselves a semi-final berth.


Tigres especially will have to be wary of over-confidence, however. The form guide shows Chiapas as the most in-form side going into the playoffs, having won all of their last four matches. Tigres themselves haven’t lost in six, the longest unbeaten streak out of all eight quarter finalists.


At the other end of the scale, Leon and America have the worst form – America only picked up seven points from the final 15 available, while Leon picked up just six.


Semi Final Line-Up Prediction: Pumas UNAM (1) vs Tigres UANL (5), Toluca (2) vs Leon (3)

 
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