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Liga MX

Liga MX Liguilla: Who are the favorites in the play-off this weekend?

Saturday and Sunday sees the eight teams who finished from 5th-12th play-off with a place in the quarter finals on the line.

Sep 21, 2022; Cincinnati, OH, USA;  Club Deportivo Guadalajara midfielder Pavel Perez (middle) celebrates with teammates, forward Angel Zaldivar (9), and midfielder Jesus Molina (5) after scoring
Aaron DosterUSA TODAY Sports

We’re edging closer towards discovering who will be the 2022 Liga MX Apertura champion with the play-off round first up this weekend as the teams who finished fifth through to twelfth in the regular league look to stake a place in the quarter finals.

The four winners from these ‘repechaje’ games will face the top four from the regular season in: Club America, Monterrey, Pachuca and Santos Laguna.

Should these ‘repechaje’ ties end level at the end of 90 minutes, there will be no extra time with the game decided on penalty kicks.

Tigres vs Necaxa

Despite finishing the regular phase with 30 points, Tigres failed to make it into the Top 4 of the standings ending up two points behind the ‘Lagunera’ side and will have to play in the playoff against a Necaxa team that just scraped through with 19 points and in twelfth place. The match will be played on Saturday 8 October at 19:00 hrs (local time) at the ‘Volcan’.

La U de la Nuevo Leon to advance.

Toluca vs FC Juarez

The Diablos Rojos (Red Devila) del Toluca finished in sixth place in the overall standings with 27 points, but underwent a slump as the regular season camne to a close, having won just one of their last five games. Ambriz’s team will face the Bravos de Juárez, who won their last game to advance to the next round. The match will be played on Sunday, October 9 at 12:00 hrs (local) at the Nemesio Diez stadium.

Toluca to progress.

Cruz Azul vs León

La Máquina were boosted with a second wind with the arrival of interim coach ‘Potro’ Gutiérrez, who took over the team after suffering a humiliating 7-0 derby defeat against Club América. Cruz Azul qualified in seventh place and will play Leon, who finished in tenth place. The game between the two teams will be on Saturday 8 October at 21:15 hrs (local time) at the Estadio Azteca.

Cruz Azul to make it through.

Puebla vs Chivas

The last match of the play-offs, and the one that on paper looks like the most evenly matched, is the duel between Puebla and Chivas. Larcamón’s side finished in eighth place, which means they will play the play-off against Chivas at home. Cadena’s side failed to win their last match against Cruz Azul, so they are forced to visit the Estadio Cuauhtémoc.

Puebla hold historical advantage over their preliminary-round opponents. The two-time Mexican champions have knocked Chivas out of the playoffs four times, while Guadalajara - who have gone more than 30 years without a postseason win over La Franja - have progressed at Puebla’s expense just twice.

This match will take place on Sunday 9 October at 16:30 hrs (local time) and we expect Chivas to advance on penalties.