Monterrey got off to a great start in Liga MX, but they backed into Liguilla, slipping down to sixth seed with only one win in their last seven games, over lowly Chivas. They'll be slight underdogs against Atlas in their Liguilla quarterfinal, but the Rayados will be expecting a win at home, where they defeated Atlas in the regular season.
Atlas entered this season threatened by relegation, but they had a productive transfer window and now look seriously unlikely to go down at the end of the Clausura. Instead, they're thinking about trophies after an excellent opening campaign.
Key player - Humberto Suazo (Monterrey)
Dorlan Pabon might have been the best player in Liga MX this season, but he won't be available for this game. For the second straight match, he's suspended. Chilean veteran Humberto Suazo will take his place, and he'll have to defy his age for Monterrey's attack to work. The 33-year-old Suazo, who has 400-plus games on his legs at this point in his career, has just two goals this season.
Key matchup - Luis Silva vs. Juan Carlos Medina
Monterrey will be chasing goals at home, and Luis Silva was excellent in Monterrey's regular season win over Atlas, scoring both goals. The man most likely to be tasked with keeping him quiet will be Juan Carlos Medina, one of few consistent fixtures in Atlas' constantly changing midfield and forward setups.
Match date/time: Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey, Mexico
TV: Univision Deportes (U.S.), Televisa 5 (Mexico)