On the Brink: Week 8-9

Relegation battles normally consist of the lesser teams in the league. The teams are generally struggling to scrap together any semblance of form or possible points. Mexico's system of relegation allows for some wiggle room with this situation. Mexican teams find themselves in relegation trouble more often from their past than their present. Three years can encompass a whole mess of crap play from crap players. All four of our relegation contenders have a recent past of something between mediocrity and pure swill. Their current play is nothing resembling those things; they are now firing on all cylinders.

Puebla defeated Queretaro 4-1. Veracruz and Chivas got 3-0 wins over Atlas and Monterrey, respectively. Even Leones Negros got a win ... over America in the Azteca, no less. Another week and more wins for the teams in the most need of them.

There is still some clear separation in this group. Veracruz, Chivas, and Puebla all find themselves in current Liguilla positions. Veracruz is the only remaining unbeaten team in the league. Their play hints at a stellar season and the true power of relegation motivation.

Leones Negros are coming off a dramatic and monumental win, but clearly need more of the same going forward. They still find themselves at the bottom of the win percentage table. More wins are needed. The good news for Leones Negros is that they are still able to gain ground on Puebla and Chivas with wins, no matter the results of their competitors. Every point affects the percentage for Leones Negros much more. Their fate is truly in their hands, but the room for error is shrinking each week.  


15. Veracruz - 59 games played - 67 points - 1.1356 ppg

16. Chivas - 93 games played - 102 points - 1.0968 ppg

17. Puebla - 93 games played - 99 points - 1.0645 ppg

18. Leones Negros - 25 games played - 24 points - 0.9600 ppg

This is where I would normally point to the next week's fixtures and all of the problems that are in store for these four clubs. They are making that very hard to do. In fact, it's quite easy to imagine each of these teams having at the very least a decent chance at points.

Veracruz returns home with their undefeated record to take on a resurgent Leon. This will of course be a tough match for Veracruz, but the Tiburones Rojos are a freight train with no brakes. I dare not doubt them again. Veracruz wins 2-1.

Chivas are traveling to Queretaro to face the Gallos Blancos. Queretaro are trying their best to make their way into the relegation battle. I find it a little unsettling that this match is swimming with turmoil talk and none of it is about Chivas. This is where I am supposed to mention that Ronaldinho had a drink, right? See, I can journalism. Chivas wins 3-0.

Puebla will be traveling to Tuxtla-Gutierrez for a Saturday night match with Jaguares. Chiapas have some truly abysmal losses this season. The problem is that none of them have come at home, where they remain unbeaten. The home field advantage in Chaiaps is real and present a difficult challenge for Puebla. But I will no longer doubt the power of relegation motivation ...well, maybe a little. I'm going with a 2-2 draw.

Leones Negros have tough competition in Tigres on Sunday, but fortunately they'll be playing away from Monterrey. Tigres are strong everywhere, but have a less than stellar road record. Leones Negros need wins, and one here will be surprising. I don't see it happening. Tigres win 2-0.


* Relegation in Liga MX is determined based on the lowest points per game for the past three years or six seasons including the present. Veracruz and Leones Negros are recently promoted and haven't been in the league for three years. Hence, they have played fewer matches and their points per game number fluctuates more than that of Puebla or Chivas.

*** Artwork is used under a Creative Commons license from Lynda





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