Liga MX Power Rankings: Leon stay top; Cruz Azul on the rise
We're now less than a month before the regular season ends. The business end of the Clausura 2019 is nigh and only two teams (Leon and Tigres) have stamped their ticket to the postseason. From there, only six points separate third-placed Monterrey and 11th-placed Lobos BUAP. As is customary in Liga MX, whichever team has the best form in the season's final few games should find success in the postseason, which is why this week we'll focus on each club's form over the last five games.
Points in last five games: 15. An incredible 30 of Leon's 32 points have come in the last 10 games. The Esmeraldas' winning streak is historic and they've risen from an afterthought in the Apertura 2019 to one of its top contenders. The 2-1 win over Necaxa was also a showcase for Fernando Navarro, who continues to make a case to make the Mexico national team with each showing.
Points in last five games: 10. The Ferretti Boys bounced back from a loss to a Mexico City team with a win ... over a Mexico City team. The 2-0 victory against Pumas helped Tigres pull away from local contenders Monterrey to stay in second place this season with 29 points.
Points in last five games: 13. After an awful start to the season, last season's runners-up have made the climb to the top half of the table. The 3-0 win over Queretaro on Saturday saw the team into the record books, as Milton Caraglio scored the 10,000th goal in the history of the Estadio Azteca.
Points in last five games: 10. The 5-1 thrashing of Monterrey put Toluca within four points of a Liguilla spot. Under new coach Ricardo La Volpe, the Red Devils have regained an attitude and identity that was severely lacking at the start of the season.
Points in last five games: 10. Despite losing to an unstoppable Leon this weekend, Necaxa's strong form has kept them afloat in the Liguilla race with four games remaining. With Brian Fernandez, one of the league's top scorers in tow, there will be plenty of chances for the team's offense to shine in the all-important final stretch.
Points in last five games: 9. A controversial 3-2 win at the Estadio Caliente means Tijuana are just one point off third-place Monterrey. Despite having one of the league's weakest offensive units, with 16 goals, their defensive prowess has been more than enough to keep them in the thick of things.
Points in last five games: 9. Facing a myriad of injuries and with the Copa MX final against second-division FC Juarez coming up, Miguel Herrera's team held a 2-1 lead in Tijuana before succumbing to an impressive comeback and questionable referee decisions. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak in the league.
Points in last five games: 7. From relegation last year to playoffs this year? Lobos are just four points off the pace after beating Chivas in Guadalajara last weekend. The bad news is they still have games against Tigres and Cruz Azul remaining.
Points in last five games: 10. With a 1-1 home draw against Monarcas, Puebla squandered a golden opportunity against one of the worst teams in the league to vault themselves into the playoff race. Regardless of that, Puebla's turnaround with Jose Luis Sanchez at the helm has been impressive.
Points in last five games: 2. A 3-0 defeat in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal first leg against Tigres and a fifth consecutive league game without a win meant Santos Laguna fired coach Salvador Reyes Jr. There's still an unlikely flicker of hope for the Torreon team to rack up silverware this season if they can turn their fortunes around in both tournaments.
Points in last five games: 6. Two wins in a row in the league means Atlas are still in the hunt, five points off the eighth-place spot they need to clinch a playoff spot. The streak is a welcome change of pace for a team that had lost six games consecutively before the current run.
Points in last five games: 7. A stale 0-0 draw at the Estadio Corona kept Pachuca one point above Puebla, but the club will host bottom-dwelling Veracruz next week, practically assuring them three points and a near-guaranteed playoff spot as the regular season comes to a close.
Points in last five games: 4. A third loss in five games practically eliminates Pumas from the Clausura 2019 playoff race. With 12 points remaining, Pumas would virtually need to win every game and hope other teams above them drop as many points as possible.
Points in last five games: 4. A fourth draw in the last five games means Morelia have accumulated half of their points this season in that span. Morelia's offense has been bad, scoring just 14 times this season, but their defense is the second-worst in all the league, having allowed 23 goals.
Points in last five games: 1. Even the coaching switch of Alberto Coyote for Jose Cardozo was not enough to snap Chivas' losing streak, which now extends to three games. With their 1-0 loss at home against Lobos, Chivas have now gone 309 minutes without scoring at the Estadio Akron.
Points in last five games: 5. Even a rough stretch in the league hasn't been enough to unseat Rayados from the playoff podium, but there's still a chance they might dip in the standings if the run continues. The good news for Monterrey is they're practically assured a showdown with Tigres in the CONCACAF Champions League final.
Points in last five games: 4. Queretaro have lost 10 times this season, one of the worst for any team in recent memory. They've also allowed a league-worst 26 goals in 13 matches, while scoring only eight themselves.
Points in last five games: 1. Four games away from an unwanted place in history, if Veracruz are unable to win a single game this season they'll close out one of the worst ever campaigns in Liga MX's 76 years.