Mexican Primera 2012, Week 16 Preview And Fixtures: One Big Battle Remains


Cruz Azul and Jaguares Chiapas are fighting for the final Liguilla place. Elsewhere, Santos face Tigres and there's a Clasico Tapatio that's being played merely for pride.

Estudiantes Tecos have been relegated and there's only one truly wide open Liguilla place, with two teams fighting for it. Tijuana and Pachuca could conceivably lose back-to-back games and crash out of the top eight, but they've looked too good this season to let that happen. Cruz Azul and Jaguares Chiapas are fighting for one place, and all eyes will be on them.

Even the Clasico Tapatio won't be terribly interesting. That game -- the big local derby between Chivas Guadalajara and Club Atlas -- is essentially only for pride this year. Both teams are out of the playoffs and Atlas have avoided relegation.

Usually, the big top of the table clash between UANL Tigres and Santos Laguna would be huge, but Santos are likely to be resting some of their stars ahead of the CONCACAF Champions League final, second leg. They lost 2-0 away to Monterrey this week and will need everyone to be 100 percent heading into that game. Expect Tigres to win that game, even though they'll be playing away in Torreon.

Cruz Azul play already relegated Tecos at home. If they don't take all three points, Enrique Meza is going to struggle to make it through the summer with a job. Even if La Maquina don't make Liguilla, Meza might have saved himself by guiding them to the knockout stages of Copa Libertadores. They start their Round of 16 tie against an excellent Libertad side on May 1.

Jaguares face a bit more of a test, and they're not nearly as heavily favored to win their game. They go away to UNAM Pumas, who have been disappointing this year, but who are certainly much better than Tecos. Strangely, they have been worse at home than they have been away this year. Dario Veron and David Cabrera are out injured for Pumas, while Jackson Martinez returns to the lineup for Jaguares. Last week, he wasn't able to play and Jaguares failed to score without him in a 0-0 draw against Tijuana.

Schedule (all times ET)

Morelia vs. Atlante - Friday, 9:10 p.m.
Cruz Azul vs. Estudiantes Tecos - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Queretaro vs. Toluca - Saturday, 6 p.m.
San Luis vs. Tijuana - Saturday, 6 p.m.
Chivas vs. Atlas - Saturday, 8 p.m.
Santos vs. Tigres - Saturday, 8 p.m.
Monterrey vs. Pachuca - Saturday, 10 p.m.
Pumas vs. Jaguares - Sunday, 1 p.m.
Puebla vs. America - Sunday, 5 p.m.

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