It's almost time for Week 5 of the 2019 Clausura! Before Liga MX returns with another set of highly anticipated matches, here are three things to watch out for:
Rodriguez and Funes Mori leading Monterrey's attack
No team has yet to match the attacking prowess of Monterrey. Heading into Week 5, Los Rayados are sitting comfortably at the top of the league table after scoring 12 times in just four games.
Led by four goals from Rogelio Funes Mori, and four assists from Mexican youngster Carlos Rodriguez, Monterrey's revived squad appears set to secure a third consecutive victory this weekend. Despite the fact that Pumas will be hosting the upcoming clash, very few would feel confident with the current form of the Mexico City team. Following a dismal start to the Clausura that included two draws and two losses, manager David Patino was fired on Sunday, thereby leaving the roster in a difficult state of transition early on in the season.
All of this is obviously good news for Monterrey. Even without the likes of Aviles Hurtado and Nicolas Sanchez, who were both shown a red in their previous match, Los Rayados will easily be the favorites against Pumas this Sunday. Eye-catching talent such as Maximiliano Meza, Dorlan Pabon, Jesus Gallardo and Jonathan Gonzalez, just to name a few of their stars, will be sure to pick up the slack for Monterrey.
If you're looking for a Liga MX game that could potentially be a one-sided and high-scoring affair in favor of a visiting roster, look no further.
Monday Night Futbol
Due to tens of millions of fans focusing on a certain football game this Sunday, Chivas have moved their own futbol match one day forward to Monday night. The altered schedule, which has been done in previous Super Bowls, is made in order to help steal the spotlight back for Chivas the day after the championship game.
Of course, on Monday, the bigger question will be if Chivas can steal back their momentum.
After starting the season off with three wins in a row, the league giants stumbled to a 1-0 away loss to Santos Laguna last weekend. Manager Jose Cardozo appeared a bit too conservative with his approach during the recent match, fielding a five-man back line in the hopes of boosting his defense. Ultimately, the plan failed after Santos Laguna scrapped by with a 1-0 win, snapping Chivas' winning streak.
Luckily for Los Rojiblancos, a visit by 17th-placed Veracruz oon Monday might be the exact boost in morale that the club needs. Los Tiburones Rojos have been abysmal for several seasons now, and the fact that they remain as the only Liga MX team without a goal in the Clausura also says plenty about their current state.
However, it's also interesting to note that Chivas legend Carlos Salcido announced earlier this week that he has joined Veracruz's roster. Under the assumption that he immediately claims a starting role, it could prove to be fascinating to see the 38-year-old battle against many of his former teammates on Monday.
Leon's big test vs Cruz Azul
A quick look at the league table shows Leon in a modest 12th place. With five points after four games, there's little that truly stands out about the team on the surface level.
And yet, when we dive deeper, there appears to be some exciting potential.
Up against highly talented Tigres and Monterrey in the first two weeks of the season, Leon survived an unenvious start to the Clausura with two impressive 2-2 draws. Although the team then lost 1-0 to Tijuana in Week 3, Leon was a bit unlucky to not have at least one goal after launching a total of 27 shots in the game. Almost as if compensating for the loss dealt by Tijuana, Los Panzas Verdes then demolished Queretaro last week with a 4-0 away win.
Even after the departure of Mauro Boselli over the winter, newcomers such as Angel Mena and Jose Juan Macias have helped paper over the cracks in the attack. The recent addition of Joel Campbell should also make things even more exciting in the final third for Leon.
There's something intriguing about this team that is quietly doing well, and if Leon hopes to make a statement early on in the Clausura, a good result against Cruz Azul on Saturday at home would undoubtedly help the club gain some much-deserved notoriety.