PREVIEW: WEEKEND MEXICAN ACTION
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CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Friday, February 10, 2012
DaMarcus Beasley looks to get back on the field after having his pelvic injury diagnosed as merely a bruise, while Jose Torres and Pachuca look to keep clawing their way up the standings.

Pachuca - Estudiantes

Jose Torres has played every minute of every game this season, and has been instrumental in coordinating Pachuca's midfield. After a disappointing first couple of weeks, they have been looking more and more like the title contenders they aim to be.

Next up in their way is lowly Estudiantes, who sit second to last with a mere two points to show from five games.

A win could move them as high as second place with some key results in other games over the weekend. After last week's dramatic 4-3 victory over Toluca, Pachuca now shares the lead in the Primera Division for goals scored.

Tecos has three goals to show for their five games, and have allowed a league worst eight. There's no reason to believe they will be able to put up a strong fight against the streaking Tuzos.

Both teams will have all players available for selection.

Puebla - Pumas

DaMarcus Beasley left the field in pain last week against Tijuana, but he should be back in the lineup after the injury was diagnosed as a bruise, rather than something more serious as the team feared.

This could be a stroke of good fortune for Beasley, as the last time he played a team named after a big cat, he scored the winning goal.

Puebla's tie with Tijuana left them placed in the bottom half of the pack, but a victory could see them move up to the top half and get some breathing room. Pumas is only ahead of Puebla by goal differential, so the game may be a tight affair.

Both teams will have all players available for selection.

Santos Laguna - Morelia

Herculez Gomez will hope see late action again as table leaders Santos Laguna travel to 9th place Morelia. So far, Gomez has only seen 41 minutes of action this season, and has failed to make an offensive splash.

Even without Gomez finding the back of the net, Santos is still at the top of offensive categories, leading in assists and coming in second in goals scored.

Santos will be keen on seizing the opportunity to extend their lead over the cluster of rivals trailing behind them, and are sure favorites to win over Morelia.

Both teams will have all players available for selection.

Tijuana - Cruz Azul

Edgar Castillo and Tijuana will be hosting contenders Cruz Azul, as the Xolos look to be getting back to the quality of play that saw them briefly leading the standings a couple of weeks ago.

Joe Corona will be looking to see some action off the bench in the second half, as his been his custom so far this season. Greg Garza is not expected to play.

Tijuana currently sit five points off the lead and one point out of third place, with Cruz Azul just ahead of them acting as a carrot.

A win could move them into a lock for second place, while a loss could see them drop significantly, especially if Americans Jose Torres and Michael Orozco can lead their teams to victory over the weekend.

Cruz Azul are trying to close the gap to Santos, and will look to put the boots to Tijuana early to keep the race close.

Both teams will have all players available for selection.

San Luis - Tigres

Michael Orozco may well have found his starting spot in jeopardy after last week's debacle against Monterrey. He was one of two defenders subbed out in the second half shortly after Monterrey's third goal, though it was a swap to gain more offense rather than to shore up the defense.

San Luis has seen their defensive wall reduced to rubble, giving up eight goals in their last three games.

Jonathan Bornstein will likely be suiting up for Tigres, but will be forced to hope for substitute minutes, despite his solid play in Copa Libertadores last week.

Tigres are within shouting distance of Santos, only three points back from the league leaders. A win over struggling San Luis would give them breathing room over some of the teams behind them, as well as keep them close to Santos.

Another San Luis loss could see them plummet further down the table, perhaps to as low as 15th.

San Luis will be without starting midfielder Jehu Chiapas due to red card suspension.

Notes

Marco Vidal will hope to get some playing time for Club Leon as they take on Universidad Guadalajara in the second division.
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