This week's Mexican Primera schedule is filled with intriguing games, with the battle between Pumas de la UNAM and Cruz Azul to set the pace in Group Three probably taking the cake. Elsewhere, Monterrey will try to kick-start their dead season against Atlante, Pachuca and Santos Laguna face off in an interesting encounter, and Club America take on a new look Tigres de la UANL team who is still working out the kinks - but looking decent in the process.
Tonight, two supposed relegation battlers start the week off as Necaxa hosts Atlas. I say supposed, because Necaxa look to be as good as down after failing to take any points from either of their first two matches, including a poor opening round performance against Jaguares de Chiapas. Atlas are looking spectacular, with their new signings blending into the team instantly. If Necaxa can't win tonight, the party is likely already over. They probably need somewhere between 20 and 25 points to have a good chance to stay up.
Monterrey's match against Atlante is one of the early kickoffs, and anything but three points in that game will set off the alarms at Estadio Tecnologico. Monterrey have failed to take a point from either of their first two matches, including an embarrassing loss to Estudiantes Tecos last week. If they can't win at home against Atlante...I don't even know what to say. Los Rayados are baffling at the moment.
Cruz Azul and Pumas de la UNAM also face off in one of the early Saturday kickoffs, and the Blue Machine will be looking to bounce back from their stunning loss to Atlante last weekend. A good friend of mine was at the game at Cancun. He said, and I quote, "All of the Cruz Azul fans were looking around like 'lol wtf?'" I think that describes their performance perfectly. Pumas de la UNAM put up a very impressive performance last weekend, outplaying Santos from whistle to whistle. Dario Veron and Marco Antonio Palacios were absolutely dominant at the back. If those two are healthy and on form, there's no reason to believe that Pumas will allow more than 15 goals in this tournament, they're that good at the top of their game. How they perform at Estadio Azul could very well be the deciding factor in that match.
Santos Laguna and Pachuca face off in one of the late Saturday kickoffs, while Club America and Tigres de la UANL face off in the late Sunday kickoff. Both games are definitely worth watching and should feature some pretty wide open football.
SB Nation's live coverage of La Primera starts tonight with Necaxa vs. Atlas and we'll have live updates of Cruz Azul vs. Pumas de la UNAM, Santos Laguna vs. Pachuca, Toluca vs. Jaguares de Chiapas, and Club America vs. Tigres de la UANL.