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Who wins the Liga MX Clausura 2019?

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Excitement on both ends of the table as the Mexican Clausura begins for its 2018 edition

By Ernesto Ibarra

The Mexican first division is a tournament that, unlike most of its counterparts around the world, is played every six months, with a league format at the beginning of the championship that sees the best placed 8 clubs advance to a knockout stage, where they fight for their way to the big final that will grant them a chance at winning the Liga MX trophy.

This year probably won’t be any different than the last, and will see Tigres and Monterrey once again go head to head for the tittle. The economically powerful teams from the northern city of Monterrey have slowly taken off and separated themselves from the rest, to the point where during the last Liga MX 2017, they both stayed in the top two places of the table through most of the 17 fixtures, with the other teams barely managing to provide any sort of threat or competition. The playoffs weren’t any different, where they easily disposed their rivals. Monterrey defeated Morelia 5-0 on aggregate, and Tigres beat America 4-0, during their respective semifinals, making it clear who the top clubs were in the Mexican first division. The final saw Tigres lift the trophy, and with a team composed of highly talented players like Chilean national team, Eduardo Vargas, and French international Andre Gignac, next year could see them becoming the champions once again. That is, if Monterrey doesn’t manage to get revenge. With a squad just as strong, with footballers like former Valencia player, Dorlan Pabon, and Colombian international Aviles Hurtado, they will surely be the main obstacle (and perhaps only) that Tigres will face to earn back to back championships.

But the excitement doesn’t end there. Every tournament that is played during the first semester of the year, will also see one of the 18 first division clubs be relegated into the nations second division or “Liga de Ascenso”. The format here, is also completely different from the usual that you can find on most football championships around the world. Here the club that has the lowest winning percentage over the last 4 years is that one that will have to and face the shame of relegation.

So who are the clubs that might see themselves playing second tier football next year? Some of the main candidates are Veracruz and Puebla. Plagued with finance problems, including non-payed salaries to players, these two clubs have struggled during the last tournaments and haven’t manage to finish anywhere above the bottom 7 places in the league. Lobos BUAP will also face a tough 2018. The club only gained access to the Mexican first division during the summer of 2017, and therefore their winning percentage is only calculated using their last year of play, which makes their percentage dramatically higher if they win games, but also drop their number by a lot if they loss a match. But, surprisingly, some traditionally popular teams will also be joining the dramatic race. Pumas is one of them. The popular team from Mexico city, has seen better days, not only is their winning percentage one of the lowest in the history of the club, but they finished last in the 2017 Liga MX, only managing to win of 3 of their 17 games.

The Mexican Liga MX Clausura  2018 will kick off on January 5th


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