Puebla

The Case for La Franja

When considering contenders for the next Liga MX title, it's safe to start with the usuals. For as much craziness, disguised under the parity label, as this league presents, title challenges and eventual trophies normally end up in the hands of the power teams.

On the Brink: The Final Two

The end is upon us. Two teams remain in the relegation fight with just two weeks remaining. Chivas and Veracruz long ago excused themselves from this battle and recently mathematically confirmed their safety. Puebla has found themselves on the bottom for some time. Their fight can't be questioned; their quality is highly questionable. Puebla continue to drop chances for attainable points. With two games left, their fate is truly on a razor's edge.

On the Brink: Week 11-12

Another week ... another crushing loss for Puebla.

Puebla looked to be poised for a fight with a first minute goal in the Estadio Olimpico. That fight died a slow death over the course of the remaining 89 minutes. Pumas slowly gained control of the match and took the 2-1 victory. Puebla's second consecutive loss ensured them bottom of the relegation table status. They remain the heavy favorite to be relegated at this point.

On the Brink: Week 9-10

It's getting real.

The margins are narrowing. The gaps are shrinking. The race is well and truly on.

This four team** battle looked to be tight at the beginning of the season; it is no different now. Well, there is one difference. There is less and less time for separation to form.

Veracruz has made it perfectly clear that they have no intention of being in this race. They are nearly out of it, and their form indicates they are not in danger of relegation. Still, crazier things have happened. The Tiburones Rojos are not yet safe.

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.

On the Brink: Week 7-8

Puebla began the weekend for the fearful four with its second consecutive win. They had the low-hanging fruit of facing Monarcas in Morelia. Despite Morelia netting an early goal, Puebla plucked the said fruit with a pair of goals on each side of the halftime break. There's nothing like a relegation fight to get the most out of a team. This battle now has Puebla in rarified territory. If the Liguilla started today, Puebla would actually be participating. Craziness.

On the Brink: Week 5-6

Generally speaking, sports are not the easiest to predict. Low-scoring sports like soccer are even more volatile. One errant pass or one stunning shot could catapult a lowly team over a juggernaut. The Mexican variety of soccer tends to be exceptionally erratic in an already unpredictable sport. Between the penchant of Liga MX officials to use the red card and the widespread talent pool results have the tendency to equate to a lottery.

On the Brink: Week 4-5

Four weeks have passed in the Clausura. It's still terribly early to sort out which team will be heading down to the Ascenso. Yet,  there is now some separation. We have our first real distance forming in the race. There are clues as to where this might just be headed. It's just the beginning, but it's clear which teams have the real heavy lifting in front of them.

On the Brink: Week 3-4

Jornada 3 in Liga MX action saw several teams put their mark on the early season. Santos Laguna, who had struggled in their first two matches, put up four on regional rival Monterrey. Chiapas got a nice win over Atlas, albeit red card assisted. Pumas got their first win in a hard-fought battle with Toluca.

On the Brink: Week 1-2

Relegation battles are inherently intriguing. Nothing gets teams and their fan bases truly locked-in like the potential of being asked to leave the league. The loss of top flight revenue is normally devastating to a club. One of the giants of Mexican soccer being thoroughly embroiled in this affair, makes for a relegation battle to remember. Chivas find themselves in a four-way fight to survive with Leones Negros, Veracruz, and Puebla. Even without the extra drama from Chivas, simply having four teams in this race easily makes for more interest at the bottom of the table than at the top.

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