Liga MX Preview: Cruz Azul out to extend lead
Luis Tena's league-leading Cruz Azul are four points clear at the top after 14 games, and had more reason to celebrate on Thursday.
A 2-0 win at home to Tijuana saw them reach the CONCACAF Champions League final for the eighth time.
Tena's side face sixth-placed Pachuca as they bid to maintain their handy advantage at the top of the league.
They will be glad to have Mauro Formica back in goalscoring form after the Argentine netted in their recent league win – a 2-1 victory at America.
He made an excellent start to the season but that strike was his first since the start of March.
With seven league goals, Marco Fabian remains their top scorer and is a constant threat up front.
Pachuca, who have lost two straight league games, have firepower of their own in Enner Valencia up front.
The Ecuador international has struck a league-high 10 goals this season, including one in each of his past three league outings.
Toluca slipped further behind Cruz Azul on matchday 13 but will be looking to bounce back when they host Leon.
Apertura champions Leon are on a five-match winless league run and need to turn that around if they are to have any chance at Toluca.
Elsewhere, third-placed Pumas UNAM visit struggling Veracruz and Santos Laguna can extend their unbeaten league run to six when they host Atlante.
America should fancy their chances when they travel to bottom side Puebla, while Tigres UANL host Tijuana.
Queretaro and Atlas open the round on Friday when they do battle at the Estadio Corregidora.
Bottom-half sides Chiapas and Monterrey clash, while Guadalajara take on Morelia.