Pumas UNAM lost their first match of the 2012 Clausura and needs a win in Jornada 2 to bounce back. They take on Monarcas Morelia on Sunday, January 15, 2012.
Some of the biggest and most talented teams in Mexico got off to poor starts in the first week of the Clausura. Two of them, Chivas and Jaguares, play each other.
For Liguilla favorites Jaguares Chiapas, Pumas UNAM and Chivas Guadalajara, Jornada 1 did not go as planned. Jaguares lost on the road to a good Monterrey side, while Pumas and Chivas were both disappointing in matches where they were expected to get points. Pumas plays their home opener and will be tested by Morelia, while Chivas and Jaguares play each other.
Estudiantes Tecos vs. San Luis
Friday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Tecos were poor in their opener against Toluca and look very much the part of a team in a relegation battle. Queretaro, Atlas and Tijuana will likely be battling them all season, with Tecos likely needing 20 points to stay up. San Luis are a borderline Liguilla team, and if they fail to win on Friday, they will see it as a missed opportunity to pick up points. San Luis is coming off of a 1-0 win over Pumas, but will be without suspended right back Anibal Matellan.
Pick: Tecos 1-2 San Luis
Jaguares Chiapas vs. Chivas Guadalajara
Saturday, 6:00 p.m. ET
TV: Azteca and FOX Deportes
Jaguares simply lost a tough road match to a good Monterrey team last week, but Chivas' loss was a bad one. At home, the Goats lost to an Atlante side that arguably was weakened over the offseason. Patricio Araujo was shown a straight red card at the end of that match, and will not be available against Jaguares. If you haven't watched Jaguares recently, keep an eye on striker Jackson Martinez. He scored last week and has been linked to a move to the English Premier League.
Pick: Jaguares 1-1 Chivas
Club Tijuana vs. Monterrey
Saturday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Tijuana got off to a good start in their campaign to avoid the drop in Jornada 1 with a road draw against Monarcas Morelia. They face a much tougher test on Saturday, when they host Monterrey. The Rayados are without Humberto Suazo, who is looking for a transfer, but their play last week indicates that they don't necessarily need him. Aldo de Nigris is finally healthy again and the core of the team that has recent Primera and CONCACAF Champions League titles is intact and playing well.
Pick: Tijuana 0-1 Monterrey
Pumas UNAM vs. Monarcas Morelia
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET
Pumas were not at their best in their loss to San Luis last week, but were unlucky not to score and take a point out of the game. There are no serious issues with their play or their roster, despite that result and their poor finish last season. This game is no guarantee, however, as Morelia have an excellent roster. They are coming off of a slightly disappointing draw against Tijuana, but they're actually better on the road over the last couple of seasons than they are at home.
Pick: Pumas 1-0 Morelia
Club America vs. Toluca
Sunday, 5:00 p.m. ET
America's first half against Queretaro was poor, but they looked very much like a contender in the second 45 minutes. Toluca looked great in their first game as well, though it's impossible to judge a team by a home game against Tecos. Toluca will probably play a defensive match, mostly because striker Ivan Alonso is good enough to create chances on his own. America will have the ball a lot at home and they will likely have more shots, but they will have to be careful to not get burned on the counter. Expect goals in this one.
Pick: America 3-2 Toluca
Pachuca vs. Puebla - 8:00 p.m. ET, Galavision
UANL Tigres vs. Queretaro - 8:00 p.m. ET, Telefutura
Club Atlas vs. Cruz Azul - 10:00 p.m. ET, Galavision
Atlante vs. Santos Laguna - 10:00 p.m. ET, Telefutura
For more on la Primera, check out Mexican futbol blog FMF State of Mind.