Liga MX Week 7 Preview: Keisuke Honda, Chivas’ Potential First Win and a Clash Between Undefeated Teams

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Liga MX Week 7 Preview: Keisuke Honda, Chivas’ Potential First Win and a Clash Between Undefeated Teams

What a busy Liga MX week! Following regular season matches on Tuesday and Wednesday, nine more are set for this weekend. It’s a quick turnaround, b

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What a busy Liga MX week!

Following regular season matches on Tuesday and Wednesday, nine more are set for this weekend. It’s a quick turnaround, but with only 11 rounds of games left, there will be little room to relax for several teams and key players.

Here’s a quick match-by-match preview for Week 7 of the 2017 Apertura.

Cruz Azul vs Monterrey — Saturday, August 26th (3pm PT/6pm ET)

Keep an eye on this one. At the moment, Cruz Azul and Monterrey are the only teams left in the league without a loss. Although Monterrey is the easy favorite with five dominant wins in hand, Los Cementeros have a decent chance of putting up a good fight.

Cruz Azul’s recent form: DDDWD (3rd place)

Monterrey’s recent form: WWWWW (1st place)

Player to watch: Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey). Any member of Monterrey’s attack is worth noting during the past few weeks, but Funes Mori has been able to stand out with four goals in his last three matches.

Prediction: Am I giving the infamous Cruz Azul too much credit by saying that the squad will put up a good fight? Man-for-man, Monterrey is the superior team and should be able to earn a sixth victory in a row.

Tigres vs Lobos BUAP — Saturday, August 26th (5pm PT/8pm ET)

Tigres manager Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti has rested several key players ahead of this clash. After garnering a midweek draw against America, Ferretti will be eager to get a convincing victory over a Lobos BUAP side that is quickly running out of steam.

Tigres’ recent form: DDLWD (4th place)

Lobos BUAP’s recent form: WWLLD (8th place)

Player to watch: Francisco Canales (Lobos BUAP). Saturday’s game might prove to be a long one for the goalkeeper. Keeping in mind that some key figures from Tigres’ frontline were given a rest in their last match, Canales should prepare for plenty of shots.

Prediction: I really want to see Lobos BUAP bounce back and earn one of the shock results of the season, but this could get ugly for them. We might see a goal or two from Lobos BUAP, but I think Tigres should be able to clinch the three points.

Leon vs Santos Laguna — Saturday, August 26th (5:06 pm PT/8:06pm ET)

Is this the match in which Santos finally secure their first win of the season? Despite the fact that Los Guerreros have stumbled through the Apertura with four draws and two losses, they’ll have a good opportunity against a Leon side with inconsistent results.

Leon’s recent form: LDWLW (11th place)

Santos’ recent form: DDLLD (17th place)

Player to watch: Gael Sandoval (Santos). After being left out of Mexico’s recent call-up, Sandoval has something to prove. The creative and agile youngster might try to win over his doubters with another eye-catching goal or assist.

Prediction: Santos have so far underperformed this season and are due for a positive result. I’ll go with a narrow victory against a Leon side which has had some defensive issues during the past few weeks.

Morelia vs Club America — Saturday, August 26th (6pm PT/9pm ET)

Here’s some trivia: Which Liga MX team is the only one that has three wins in its three away games this season? That’s America. Las Aguilas have looked great in the Apertura, and although injuries will hurt the team, there are a few other starters who should be able to compensate for absences. As for Morelia, it’s difficult to put much trust on the squad that not only has a weaker roster than America, but also only one win.

Morelia’s recent form: DDLLW (14th place)

America’s recent form: WWWWD (2nd place)

Player to watch: Cecilio Dominguez (America). With Oribe Peralta injured, plenty of goalscoring responsibility will land on the shoulders of Dominguez this weekend.

Prediction: Morelia has yet to win at home and I don’t believe that will change at any point in the near future. I’ll go with another solid away victory for America.

Necaxa vs Atlas — Saturday, August 26th (7pm PT/10pm ET)

As unexciting as Necaxa has looked during the tournament, Los Rayos are still slightly outperforming their next opponents. Looking over at Atlas, it’s tough to feel confident about the team that is still missing influential starters such as Rafael Marquez and Clifford Aboagye.

Necaxa’s recent form: WDLDD (7th place)

Atlas’ recent form: WLLLD (10th place)

Player to watch: Matias Alustiza (Atlas). Alustiza is a glimmer of hope for Atlas. If there’s a way that Atlas gets a surprise win, it will likely be thanks to the 33-year-old striker.

Prediction: In theory, Necaxa should be able to secure a victory, but the squad’s attack has been far too quiet in the Apertura. Although the most boring-looking Liga MX games sometimes end up being the most exciting, I’ll stick with a dull draw between the two rosters.

Chivas vs Queretaro — Saturday, August 26th (7:06 pm PT/10:06 pm ET)

No team has looked more miserable in the Apertura than Chivas. After the recent draw with Santos, the Guadalajara club continues to sit at dead last. Will Queretaro capitalize on Chivas’ awful form? Will Los Rojiblancos once again fail to have much of an impact in the attack?

Chivas’ recent form: DDLLD (18th place)

Queretaro’s recent form: LDWDL (9th place)

Player to watch: Tiago Volpi (Queretaro). Due to the fact that Chivas manager Matias Almeyda will be desperate for his first win at home, Volpi might have a busy night as Queretaro’s starting goalkeeper. That said, it wouldn’t be the first time that he has an incredible performance in net against Chivas.

Prediction: Is this the one in which Chivas turn it around? I think so. The Guadalajara club would probably earn a loss against many other Liga MX rosters, but it also has the talents to overpower Queretaro. It’s time for numerous Chivas players to step up.

Toluca vs Puebla — Sunday, August 27th (10am PT/1pm ET)

Sure, Toluca was thrashed by Monterrey during Wednesday’s 4-1 loss, but 70% of Liga MX teams would suffer the same fate. Los Diablos Rojos, who are still worthy of a position in the top eight, should have no serious problems against Puebla. For those keeping track, Puebla has only scored three times in six matches this season. Three!

Toluca’s recent form: WWDDL (6th place)

Puebla’s recent form: DLDWL (16th place)

Player to watch: Rubens Sambueza (Toluca). At time of writing, Sambueza is the most fouled player in the Apertura. Expect the crafty and hard-working midfielder to be a constant headache against Puebla.

Prediction: All signs point to a win for Toluca. With a home field advantage and a better roster, Los Diablos Rojos should be able to bounce back after the recent defeat by Monterrey.

Veracruz vs Pumas — Sunday, August 27th (4:30pm PT/7:30 pm ET)

Adios “Paco” Palencia. Following Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Morelia, the Pumas manager was dropped from his coaching position. After four losses in the first six matches, and a dismal run in the previous season, it’s no surprise to see Palencia fired. As for Veracruz, the leading relegation candidate must start gaining more points before it becomes too late.

Veracruz’s recent form: LWWDL (13th place)

Pumas’ recent form: LLWLL (15th place)

Player to watch: Adrian Luna (Veracruz). With two goals, one assist and an average of three shots per game, Pumas (and Liga MX fans) should keep a watchful eye on Luna.

Prediction: I can’t see Pumas winning this. Morale is low and the team recently lost its manager. Veracruz will add insult to injury through a win on Sunday.

Liga MX match of the weekend

Club Tijuana vs Pachuca — Friday, August 25th (7pm PT/10pm ET)

Why read a quick blurb when you can check out my entire preview dedicated to this match? Here’s the link.