America and Santos Laguna are going to fight for the title, but first the path must be defined.
Santos comes into the final match of the regular season as the No. 2 seed, but current No. 5 America could diminish the Guerreros' standing with a win this weekend.
Neither team is in great form, though, with each coming off a defeat last week.
With a better regular season finish the second tiebreaker in the quarterfinals and semifinals, Saturday's match could have significant ramifications for the playoffs.
|Game||America vs. Santos Laguna|
|Date||Saturday, April 28|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Stream (US only)||fuboTV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
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Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Jimenez, Leon, Marchesin, Pineda|
|Defenders||Aguilar, Aguilera, Alvarez, Cedillo, Orrantia, Valdez, Vargas|
|Midfielders||Arce, Corona, Cordova, Cruz, Da Silva, Ibarra, Rodríguez, Uribe, Zamora|
|Forwards||Diaz, Dominguez, Ibarguen, Lainez, Marin, Martin, Menez, Peralta|
Midfielder Mateus Uribe is suspended for Saturday's contest after being sent off in last week's 3-1 defeat at Puebla. Henry Martin, Cecilio Dominguez and Jeremy Menez all are coming off of injuries suffered in April. While they may make the 18, Herrera may not risk them ahead of the Liguilla.
Potential starting XI: Marchesin; Aguilar, Valdez, Aguilera, Vargas; Alavarez, Rodriguez; Ibarra, Ibarguen, Lainez; Peralta
|Position||Santos Laguna players|
|Goalkeepers||Orozco, Acevedo, Garcia|
|Defenders||Izquierdoz, Araujo, Alcoba, Villafana, Arteaga, Abella, Sanchez, Ibanez, Bernal|
|Midfielders||Vazquez, Rivas, Andrade, Martinez, de Buen, Cortes, Rabello, Davila, Lozano, Martinez, Isijara|
|Forwards||Furch, Rodriguez, Djaniny|
Center back Nestor Araujo continues his recovery from the knee issue he suffered with Mexico in March but won't be able to return until the postseason at the earliest.
Potential starting XI: Orozco; Abella, Izquierdoz, Alcoba, Villafana; Isijara, Vazquez, De Buen, Martinez; Djaniny, Furch
Betting & Match Odds
America is at odds even on Dabblebet to win the match with both a Santos win and a draw going for 12/5.
America was rolling along at the start of the season and carried a long unbeaten record into the 12th week of the season before losing to Toluca.
Las Aguilas have lost just once since then, last week in Puebla, but aren't exactly dominating opponents.
They've settled for draws far too often and despite having lost only a pair of games are currently sitting in the bottom half of the playoff positions. That could change this weekend with a win and a bit of help, and seeding could be crucial for a playoff run.
Look no farther than America itself, which played out a pair of scoreless matches with Cruz Azul last tournament but moved into the semifinals thanks to a superior regular-season finish - the league's second tiebreaker after away goals.
Wins haven't come easily against Santos this season, but the visitors come in on the back of a pair of losses. Manager Robert Siboldi said his team would start to take things easier after his team locked up qualification but has still put out largely first-choice lineups in losses to Pumas and Pachuca.
America is dealing with a suspended Mateus Uribe and has attacking trio Cecilio Dominugez, Jeremy Menez and Henry Martin coming off injuries. Herrera will have to decide whether to risk them in an efffort improve his team's postseason positioning or hope former Santos star Oribe Peralta will be able to do enough on his own up top to get the home win.