While almost every other league in the world is still weeks away from starting, in Mexico the action is just about to begin and the favorites to win it all this season are the usual suspects: Monterrey, Tigres, and America. But this year none of these traditionally big spenders made a splash in the summer transfer window, and that leaves the Liga MX up for grabs.
Teams from Monterrey are still the best in Mexico
Money doesn´t buy happiness but it does buy expensive football players, and that equals to success. Monterrey, the +325 co-favorite at [custom:bodog-link] on the Liga MX Apertura odds, spent top dollar in Mexican talent, they bought Rodolfo Pizarro and Jesus Gallardo to bolster their already star-studded team. But both of these players are not difference makers like Humberto Suazo or Dorlan Pabon were back in the day, yes they are good, but are they enough to put Rayados over the top? We’ll see.
And then there is Tigres (+325), they seem to be poised for another title run and look in much better shape than their cross-town rivals. Ricardo Ferretti’s team only got stronger with the return of Guido Pizarro who spent last season playing in Spain. He’ll return in top form and will become one of the best defensive midfielders in Mexico once again. Other than that Tigres made very few moves this offseason.
America and Cruz Azul want to return TO top
Not many years ago the teams from Mexico City were the most powerful clubs, they had the money to outbid any other team and they always had the best players. But now they play second fiddle to the teams from up north but they are trying to be relevant again. In America (+500) the French experiment failed and Jeremy Menez was sent packing, but they acquired Roger Martinez, a Colombian striker that could make the difference in the playoffs.
Cruz Azul (+1400) has ambitious plans of its own, with Ricardo Pelaez now in charge of all the decision making the club went on an impressive shopping spree that includes Elias Hernández, Milton Caraglio, and Andrés Renteria. The club has really high hopes for the Caraglio-Hernandez pairing up front, the combination of Hernandez and his pinpoint passes with Caraglio´s scoring prowess could lift the team to elite status.
Toluca and Santos Laguna have a lot to prove
Toluca (+700) was one of the best teams last season and yet the betting sites show no respect for them, and the same could be said for the reigning Liga MX champions Santos Laguna. We know that these teams don’t have expensive payrolls but they are very effective against more talented teams and they will be contenders once again.
The bad news for Santos (+1000) is that they lost some key players from last season’s championship run, including Carlos Izquierdoz and Djaniny Tavares, two fan favorites that were key to the club’s recent success. The wild card this season for Santos will be Eduardo Herrera, who is returning from a brief stint in Scottish football at Rangers.
The best of the rest
In the Liga MX almost any team can win the title and that is what we love about it. Clubs like Monarcas Morelia (+1400), Pachuca (+1400), and Leon (+1400) have very good players and can be tough teams to beat in the playoffs. All three teams have something in common and that is a serious front office that without overspending always manage to place together very competitive teams.
Monarcas has been on the verge of making a deep run in the playoffs in the last couple of seasons and they play a spectacular attacking style of football, we expect more of that this season. Leon will always be dangerous as long as they have Mauro Boselli in their lineup, and they signed a very solid goalkeeper, Rodolfo Cota, to finally have some stability in the position.
Pachuca also has a nice team that is still very young and will compete against the big boys, they kept their core intact and they will keep developing that seemingly infinite pool of talented players.