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What to look out for in Liga MX Apertura 2022 week 15: América vs Chivas, Ibáñez vs Martín...

The ‘Clásico Nacional’ between Club América and Chivas Guadalajara headlines matchday 15 in the Liga MX Apertura 2022 regular season.

The ‘Clásico Nacional’ between Club América and Chivas Guadalajara headlines matchday 15 in the Liga MX Apertura 2022 regular season.
Jam MediaGetty

The end of the Liga MX Apertura 2022 regular season is drawing near. The line-up for the playoffs, and the play-in round that comes before the postseason proper, is close to being confirmed. As teams fight to make it through to the next phase on matchday 15 this weekend, we could well witness plenty of movement in the table - and we may even see clubs come back from the dead to muscle back in on the race.

Cruz Azul out to consolidate top-12 spot

After beating León in a rescheduled week-16 fixture on Thursday, Cruz Azul are 10th in the table and well placed to reach the play-in round as one of the Liga MX’s top 12 finishers. Qualification is far from a cert just yet, though, as a combination of results could change everything on matchday 15. That’s why La Máquina really need an away win at Pumas on Sunday to ensure they stay alive in this tournament.

América host Chivas in ‘Clásico Nacional’

Although Chivas sit seventh, honour is at stake this weekend as they face América in yet another edition of Mexico’s ‘Clásico Nacional’. They will have to play with their hearts and work their socks off to win this game. Meanwhile, América come into this duel out to maintain their status as league leaders, and will likely need all three points if they’re to hold on to top spot and even pull away from the chasing pack.

Pumas can lift for good

Although Pumas have not had a good tournament - despite the arrival of former Barcelona star Dani Alves - it is still mathematically possible for them to make it into the play-in: Andrés Lillini‘s men are within two points of Puebla in 12th. A home win over Cruz Azul is a must if they’re to stay in the race for the postseason.

Ibáñez chasing top scorer award

Nicolás Ibáñez has been one of the best players in this Apertura 2022 tournament, plundering 10 goals for third-placed Pachuca, and he can take another step towards finishing the regular season as top scorer if he finds the net against Atlético San Luis on Sunday. The Estadio Alfonso Lastras Ramírez is a difficult place to go to, but if they stick to their game, Pachuca can depart San Luis with the points. Ibáñez is currently one goal ahead of América’s Henry Martín.

See also:

León seek vital win against Querétaro

After losing to a late Cruz Azul comeback on Thursday, Club León in ninth are now tasked with beating Querétaro at the Nou Camp. They must take advantage of the poor period the Gallos Blancos are enduring if they’re to get a win that could lift them up a position. There’s a big difference between finishing eighth and ninth: the four highest-ranked play-in teams are at home in the preliminary playoff round. León are currently level on points with eighth-placed Atlético San Luis.