Santos Laguna's Daniel Ludueña, while playing in CONCACAF Champions League. Santos take on Monarcas Morelia in the Mexican Primera 2012 Clausura on February 10, 2012.
Santos Laguna open up Jornada 6 of the Mexican Primera, while Chivas' misery is likely to continue.
Jornada 6 is one of the most balanced rounds of play in the Mexican Primera's 2012 Clausura, with no marquee matches or clasicos, but plenty of solid matchups. Most of the bad teams have interesting and winnable games, while two of them play in a massive relegation clash. It's the rare week where nothing is spectacular, but literally every game is watchable.
Monarcas Morelia vs. Santos Laguna
Friday, 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Deportes
After poor performances in their first two games, Morelia have rebounded and look like a Liguilla team. They're continuing the trend this season of not actually being any better at home than they are on the road, so they're likely in some trouble on Friday. Santos Laguna are the best team in Mexico at the moment and have an unblemished road record.
The key for Santos has been continuity just as much as it has been talent. Oribe Peralta only has one goal in five matches, but his team hasn't looked any worse for it. They're also doing it without Felipe Baloy, who is just now recovering from an injury. The core of the team who has gone to three finals in five tournaments is intact, a rarity in Mexican football.
Miguel Sabah scored twice against Chivas last week and if he gets hot, Morelia can defeat anyone. If he's not scoring, Morelia can struggle to find goals, and their defense could struggle to keep Santos off the board as well.
Prediction: Morelia 0-1 Santos
Monterrey vs. Chivas Guadalajara
Saturday, 6:00 p.m. ET
This game is included in this preview because these are two massive teams with big support that have had some recent success. Now that we have that out of the way, Chivas are a bad team right now. They look like they haven't got a clue. Monterrey look like they have their attack sorted and Humberto Suazo has returned. Mexican football is crazy and Chivas have talent, so don't put down money on this game, but there's no reason to believe that Monterrey won't win.
Prediction: Monterrey 2-0 Chivas
Pachuca vs. Estudiantes Tecos
Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET
At this point, every Tecos game is extremely important. They're at the bottom of the relegation standings by some distance, and they've never been relegated. Over and over again, Tecos have been in this situation, and over and over again they've found a miracle and gotten out of it. Pachuca are undefeated this season and their attack looks spectacular. The Tecos defense is poor, and their former star Mauro Cejas could be the one who puts them to the sword.
Prediction: Pachuca 3-1 Tecos
Atlas vs. Club America
Saturday, 9:45 p.m. ET
If you're looking at the times and TV schedules and you're confused, Telefutura sucks. They're showing this game on a 15-minute delay. I'm not joking. Anyway, Atlas has one of Mexico's best budding young managers in Juan Carlos Chavez, and he's apparently planning on guiding Atlas to safety by playing extremely boring football. They have two goals and four goals conceded in five games.
America is much improved from last season, but didn't look good last week in a 1-0 home loss to UANL Tigres. They're undefeated on the road, however, and Atlas are not a great team. They won't do much to get by the average America defense.
Prediction: Atlas 0-1 America
Tijuana vs. Cruz Azul
Sunday, 3:00 p.m. ET
This screams "trap game" for Cruz Azul. Mid-week, they traveled away to Paraguay where they got a big road win over Nacional in Copa Libertadores. Next week, they play a massive clasico against UNAM Pumas. During their runs in Copa Libertadores, both Chivas Guadalajara and Jaguares Chiapas have struggled badly in the league over the last two seasons. This Cruz Azul team is better than those teams, but the travel and added games are rough.
Meanwhile, Tijuana are fighting relegation and have proven that they can play. Their only poor performance of the season has been against Santos Laguna, which is understandable. Cruz Azul has the better side, but they could be looking both behind of and ahead of the Xolos, and they'll be a bit tired as well.
Prediction: Tijuana 2-1 Cruz Azul
Jaguares Chiapas vs. Queretaro - Saturday, 6:00 p.m. ET
San Luis vs. UANL Tigres- Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Atlante vs. Toluca - Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET
UNAM Pumas vs. Puebla - Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET
For more on the Primera and everything Mexico, check out Mexican futbol blog FMF State Of Mind.