Liga MX fans will be treated to a Super Clasico clash between domestic heavyweights Chivas Guadalajara and América when the Apertura quarter finals kick off Wednesday.
Eight teams are in the running to be crowned champions in the first phase of the 2020-21 Liga MX, including the top four regular-season finishers, back for the business end of the playoffs:
Leon, América, Cruz Azul and Pumas UNAM proceeded directly to the quarters thanks to their league placement and will boast the upper hand in rest compared to the remaining qualifiers. Puebla and Chivas edged Necaxa and Monterrey in the reclassification to reach this point, while UANL Tigres and Pachuca were slightly more conclusive victors over Toluca and Santos Laguna, respectively.
The format shifts to two-legged ties for the remainder of the postseason push, with six past Apertura champions still in the hunt to add another title to their collections.
Liga MX Quarter-Final First Legs (All Times ET)
Wednesday, November 25
Puebla vs. Leon, 8 p.m. - TUDN
Chivas Guadalajara vs. América, 10 p.m. - Telemundo
Thursday, November 26
UANL Tigres vs. Cruz Azul, 8 p.m. - TUDN, Univision
Pachuca vs. Pumas UNAM, 10 p.m. - TUDN, Univision
Second-leg fixtures will take place November 28-29.
Liga MX Playoffs Tune-In Information
TV: TUDN, Univision, Telemundo
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
It’s fitting Liga MX supporters will be gifted a Clasico series in the quarterfinals given the havoc wreaked as a result of this year’s pandemic-induced delays, with all eyes on Zapopan as América visit Chivas. These arch rivals have met twice already in 2020—once in Liga MX and once during the Copa por Mexico in July—with the host triumphing on each occasion.
The most renowned rivals in Mexican soccer seemed destined to cross paths after their women’s teams were also pitted against one another in the Liga MX Femenil quarterfinals:
América haven’t won at the Estadio Akron since November 2016, but a run of one defeat (to Leon) in their last 11 outings suggests Miguel Herrera’s men have momentum running in their favor.
Leon will have the honor of opening the Liguilla’s last eight after they finished first in the regular campaign, eight points in front of their nearest competition. In fact, Los Panzas Verdes accrued 40 points in 17 games, double the total of Wednesday’s opponents, Puebla, who qualified in 12th.
Los Camoteros (The Sweet Potatoers) dug deep to fight from 2-0 down and beat Monterrey on penalties last time out, but Cesar Hernandez cast doubt over a second upset going their way:
A matchup between Pachuca and Pumas is considerably harder to call despite the two sides finishing seven places apart in the Apertura standings. Fifteen of the past 23 meetings between these teams has produced two goals or fewer, and 10 of those ended in draws.
Pachuca are featuring in the Apertura playoffs for the first time since 2016 but haven’t progressed past this stage in 14 years, bowing out in the quarterfinals the last four times they’ve reached this point. That curse looks to be at risking of repeating considering Leon are the only team this term to have bested Pumas, who are unbeaten in their last seven.
Goals look guaranteed in the last remaining quarter-final clash, which will see Liga MX’s top scorer this season, Cruz Azul’s Jonathan Rodriguez, look to outdo Tigres’ Andre-Pierre Gignac.
Gignac delivered a decisive double at the Estadio Universitario to trump Toluca 2-1 in the last round, the second of which will be considered a contender for Goal of the Season, via TUDN:
That double lifted the Frenchman back to 11 goals for the campaign, which is one behind Rodriguez. Whomever’s side tops this two-legged encounter will get to continue their quest for the crown and Liga MX’s top scorer award. Gignac has won it twice already (in the 2016 Clausura and 2018 Apertura).