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Liga MX gears up for the remaining weeks of the Clausura 2015 tournament with Monterrey vs America and Leones Negros vs Puebla as the highlights.
Turco goes against Club America and relegation dog fights in Liga MX 
04/10/2015
 
Antonio Mohamed

There are just five games remaining in the Clausura 2015, and with only six points separating third-placed Chivas from fourteenth-placed Santos Laguna, there are a whole host of sides who are hopeful of putting together an end-of-season winning streak to propel them into the top eight Liguilla places.


There are several intriguing match-ups in Week 13, with Monterrey vs Club America arguably being the most alluring for a neutral.

Monterrey vs Club America (Saturday, 8pm et)

America vs Monterrey

Aside from the recent form of the two sides, this game is instantly made fascinating by the man in the dugout. It will be the first time Antonio ‘Turco’ Mohamed has faced his old side America since being unceremoniously bounced out of the club after winning them the 2014 Apertura. Turco was a Monterrey legend in his playing days, and he will be desperate to show his old club the folly of their decision.


On the pitch, the stories are equally compelling. When Mohamed was given the Monterrey job in mid-February the club were seventeenth in the table with just one win from their opening six games, but his appointment sparked an immediate improvement and they have now won four of their last six. That run has seen them climb to tenth place, and they are now just two points behind Atlas in the final playoff position.


For their part, America turned in a once-in-lifetime performance in the CONCACAF Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night. Their five goals in the opening thirty minutes was comparable with some of football’s other greatest stories; Liverpool in Istanbul and the Brazil vs Germany World Cup semi-final immediately spring to mind.


While the performance itself was stunning, it also marked a turn in America’s fortunes. After conceding seven without scoring in the two games prior to the international break, they’ve now scored seven without reply in the two games since – including a morale-boosting win in the `Clasico Joven´ against Cruz Azul last weekend.

It should be an awesome game.


Soccerly Prediction: Monterrey 2-2 Club America

Universidad de Guadalajara vs Puebla (Saturday, 10pm et)

Puebla vs Leones Negros

The other big story of the weekend takes place at the opposite end of the table.


Going into this campaign the relegation battle was set to be a four-way fight between Chivas, Leones Negros, Veracruz, and Puebla. While all four sides started well, Puebla and Leones Negros have slipped in recent weeks, and it now seems the demoted side will be one of those two.


Puebla are currently in last place in the Tabla de Descenso with a coefficient of 1.0309, while Leones Negres are only just ahead of with a coefficient of 1.0345. The Guadalajara-based side do have a slight advantage because they’ve played fewer games and win for them will be worth more coefficient points – but it’s still balanced on a knife-edge and it’s impossible to predict who will go down in May.


At different times this season both teams have looked like they could stage a recovery. Puebla won three consecutive games in mid-February against Monterrey, Morelia, and Queretaro and moved as high as fourth in the table, but they are now winless in four and have lost their last three, including a devastating 2-1 home defeat against fellow relegation battlers Chivas. Leones Negros also enjoyed a three match winning streak in early March, dispatching both last season’s finalist America and Tigres along with Morelia, but they have now lost their last two.


It’ll be a nervy and tense affair, which could be decided on a moment of magic or individual error.


Soccerly Prediction: Universidad de Guadalajara 1-0 Puebla

Around the Grounds

Cruz Azul

Fifth-placed Tigres UANL travel to sixth-placed Cruz Azul on Saturday night. The two sides are separated on goal difference and a win for either would be a huge boost in their respective bids to make the post-season. 


Tigres seem to have found form in recent weeks and have lost just one of their last five, while Cruz Azul started strongly but have wobbled in the last few games and have only won one of their last five.


Elsewhere, Toluca (7th) welcome Atlas (7th), Pachuca (12th) host Pumas UNAM (9th), and Leon (17th) go to Chivas (3rd).

 
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