Time for the repechaje in Liga MX. All the teams that ended up between fifth and 12th place in the regular season of Clausura 2022 will get one last chance next weekend to join the Top Four in the tournament quarterfinal round.
What teams are playing the repechaje, when are they doing it, how the winners are going to be determined and who do we think is going to qualify, next in this brief guide to the Liga MX repechaje Clausura 2022.
Teams qualified for Liga MX playoffs
The current format states that the first four teams in the Liga MX regular season qualify automatically for the playoff quarterfinals. This season, those four teams are:
- Atlas (current champions)
- Club América
Who are they going to face? It all depends on the results in the repechaje, a single-leg play-in scheduled for Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8.
Liga MX repechaje games | Clausura 2022
The next question is who are the teams qualified for that repechaje. Following their place in the Liga MX standings those teams are:
- Puebla (5th)
- Chivas (6th)
- Monterrey (7th)
- Cruz Azul (8th)
- Necaxa (9th)
- San Luis (10th)
- Pumas (11th)
- Mazatlán (12th)
Trying to fill the four available slots in the quarterfinals, Liga MX paired the teams following a classic method in the sports industry. That is the best-qualified team against the worst one, the second-best against the second-worst, and so on.
And since it's just a single-leg series, the teams that finished between 5th and 8th place in the regular season will be rewarded with the home advantage.
So the games are:
- Puebla (5th) vs. Mazatlán (12th)
- Chivas (6th) vs. Pumas (11th)
- Monterrey (7th) vs. San Luis (10th)
- Cruz Azul (8th) vs. Necaxa (9th)
Rules, dates, and Liga MX repechaje predictions
You already know who is playing who, and the fact this is a single-leg definition. You are also smart enough to know that the winning team will advance to the quarterfinals. But what about a draw? In this stage, Liga MX states if the game ends tied after 90 minutes, everything will be decided through a penalty shootout. No extra time nonsense.
Finally, it's time for predictions. Soccer is always unpredictable, but we all know that. So just let's get risky:
Puebla (5th) vs. Mazatlán (12th)
The Larcaboys had a solid start in the 2022 Clausura, but after the team mocked América on social media for being dead-last a couple of months ago, luck changed to the point of losing their automatic qualification spot to América – yes, life is a screenwriter – in the last game of the regular season against Mazatlán, their opponent in the repechaje.
But unless there's a revolt inside the dressing room, I don't see Mazatlán pulling another W over Puebla in the play-in.
Regular season result: Mazatlán 2 - Puebla 1
Play-in date: Sunday, May 8, 6 p.m. ET
Prediction: Puebla 2 - Mazatlán 0
Chivas (6th) vs. Pumas (11th)
El Rebaño Sagrado seems to have found its mojo with interim coach Ricardo Cadena. The team has three victories in a row and wants more. Interestingly, they will have one of the most volatile squads in the tournament: Pumas. I do think it is the hardest game to predict because we also have to add Pumas' emotional state after the Concacaf Champions League Final vs. Seattle Sounders on Wednesday, May 4. What sort of Pumas will Chivas face? One with a victory hangover or one with a thirst for revenge, eh?
Anyway, I think Chivas will advance to face Atlas or América in the quarterfinal round.
Regular season result: Chivas 3 - Pumas 1
Play-in date: Sunday, May 8, 8:15 p.m. ET
Prediction: Chivas 1 - Pumas 0
Monterrey (7th) vs. San Luis (10th)
Yes, Atlético San Luis already defeated Monterrey playing away in this Clausura 2022, the last game of Javier Aguirre as Rayados head coach. However, I don't see the potosinos repeating the feat. Both teams have been very irregular during the tournament, but I feel it's time for Monterrey to start showing off the quality and depth of its squad.
Vincent Janssen's drought is also over.
Regular season result: Monterrey 0 - San Luis 2
Play-in date: Saturday, May 8, 9 p.m. ET
Prediction: Monterrey 3 - San Luis 1
Cruz Azul (8th) vs. Necaxa (9th)
What a dull and frustrating team Cruz Azul is. Necaxa is not the eighth wonder, but at least tries, and for that only reason, it should qualify for the playoffs. OK, there are also some intellectual reasons behind the thought: La Máquina has been awful playing in the Azteca, losing five of the nine games there this season. And one of those was against Necaxa. Los Rayos have the recipe.
Regular season result: Cruz Azul 1 - Necaxa 2
Play-in date: Saturday, May 7, 6:45 p.m. ET
Prediction: After a 1-1 draw, Necaxa advances in PKs.