Multiple playoff spots at stake on key Midweek Matchday

León and UNAM will face off with Liga MX playoff seeding at stake. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
León and UNAM will face off with Liga MX playoff seeding at stake. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /
Liga MX M15
Time is running out for the Chivas to turn things around. They’ll visit Querétaro tonight in a Matchday 15 Liga MX contest (Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

With the finish line in sight, schedule-makers have given Liga MX fans a Midweek Matchday that could go a long way to clear up the playoff picture.

América and Monterrey have already secured a spot in the postseason, but the remaining 16 teams still have aspirations of playing beyond Nov. 12.

The eggheads in charge of Liga MX tweaked the playoff format for the Apertura 2023, reducing the field to 10 teams with the Top 6 seeds getting a first-round bye.

Stealing the play-in idea from the NBA, the seventh place finisher will square off against the eighth-place side for the No. 7 seed while the loser of that match will then face the winner of the No. 9 vs No. 10 match for the final playoff berth.

Key Matchday 15 contests

Tuesday’s quadruple-header finds Puebla (13 points) at Toluca (21), Guadalajara (21) at Querétaro (15), UNAM (21) at León (19) and last-place Necaxa (11) at Monterrey (23).

The León-Pumas game is the best of the four although both clubs are coming off embarrassing 1-0 losses. León came up short against a dysfunctional Cruz Azul team that leads Liga MX in losses (8) while UNAM saw top scorer César Huerta red-carded in minute 12 and fell to last-place Necaxa.

“La Fiera” is 4-2-1 at home this season while the overachieving Pumas are 3-1-4 on the road. The visitors will have to figure out a way to score goals without their best playmaker, Huerta, while Nicolás Larcamón might have to juggle his line-up to spark an offensive reaction from the Esmeraldas’ listless attack.

Liga MX fans will be eager to see how the Chivas bounce back from the 4-0 shellacking they received from Tigres over the weekend.

“El Rebaño Sagrado” continues to deal with locker-room turmoil and Alexis Vega remains in limbo. The El Tri winger saw his in-house suspension lifted but he is still not welcome back on the roster after violating team rules (again).

The Chivas appeared to have escaped the doldrums of a six-game winless streak as they headed into a Liga MX Finals rematch against Tigres with two straight impressive wins. Instead, they were utterly humiliated, losing 4-0 and defender Antonio Briseño picked up a fifth yellow card which will keep him out of tonight’s match in Querétaro.

The Gallos Blancos could be just what the Chivas need to turn things around at Estadio Corregidora tonight as the hosts have lost three of four while being outscored 10-2.

Over in Toluca, the Diablos Rojos responded to the firing of coach Ignacio Ambriz with a convincing 3-1 home win over fourth-place Atlético de San Luis.

“Los Choriceros” have struggled against lesser opponents this season, so they can’t afford to look past a Puebla side that will be fighting to keep its diminishing playoff hopes alive.

Up in Monterrey, the Rayados can clinch a playoff berth with a win over lowly Necaxa while the Rayos will be eliminated with a loss or draw.

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Elsewhere in Liga MX

Matchday 15 continues on Wednesday with five games: Pachuca (16 points) plays host to Atlas (16), FC Juárez (18) at Cruz Azul (14), América (33) at Atlético de San Luis (22), Santos Laguna (17) at Mazatlán FC (16) and Tigres (28) at Tijuana (20).