When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >
Odds taken from bet365.
Pick: CF Monterrey to win
CF Monterrey are one of the biggest and strongest clubs of Liga MX. In the previous Apertura campaign, they finished second in the table after losing just two games out of 17. In the following Clausura season, the club finished at the top of the league. However, in both phases, CF Monterrey failed to clinch their sixth Liga MX title. It has now been three years since the five-time CONCACAF Champions League winners have won a trophy, and the team is getting restless. The confidence of the Mexican side must have certainly received a massive boost after eliminating the defending MLS champions in the last round.
Standing in their way are a strong Nashville SC side, who will be a tough nut to crack. The current MLS campaign is the American club’s fourth season in the top flight. They have performed well over the years but have struggled with consistency. Nashville SC are eyeing their first trophy and have stated their intent with a commanding win in the previous round against ten-man Minnesota United. The convincing win was extremely necessary for the American outfit, as both their knockout games before the quarter-final were decided on penalties.
This is the third edition of the Leagues Cup. Liga MX side Cruz Azul won the inaugural edition of the competition before their Mexican neighbors, Club Leon, took the title in the second edition. CF Monterrey have the opportunity to become the third Mexican top-division club to nab the trophy and ensure that Liga MX clubs dominate the tournament. However, if Nashville SC wins, then one of Nashville SC, Philadelphia Union, and Inter Miami will become the first American side to win the Leagues Cup. The odds are evenly matched, but CF Monterrey have the upper hand in this fixture.
The two strong clubs play in different domestic leagues and have not faced each other in any competitive club football competition before. However, CF Monterrey are more experienced in playing knockout football.
The Mexican club has won five Champions League titles and have won the Copa MX thrice. CF Monterrey have featured in nine knockout club competition finals and have only finished as runners-up once.
Comparatively, Nashville SC are a relatively new side and lacks experience in a tournament like the Leagues Cup. However, the team has performed at an optimal level so far, producing some excellent results to reach this stage.
As the other top Liga MX sides were eliminated before the quarterfinals, the odds were stacked against CF Monterrey in their semi-final encounter against Los Angeles FC. This was primarily because the defending MLS champions were the top-seeded American side in the tournament.
When Los Angeles FC scored the opening goal after just two minutes, spectators expected another goal-fest. The MLS side doubled their lead just before half-time as many predicted an easy win for the MLS top seed.
However, CF Monterrey had other plans and decided to spoil the American party with a dramatic come-from-behind victory. All three goals scored by the five-time Liga MX champions were scored in the final quarter of the game, displaying the side’s hunger to win the trophy.
In the game against Los Angeles FC, CF Monterrey had to play without Luis Romo because the midfielder had to serve a suspension after picking up three yellow cards in the opening four games of the competition. The 28-year-old made substitute appearances in the group stage.
Romo started against Portland Timbers in the first knockout round and in the crucial Clásico Regiomontano against Tigres UANL in the Round of 16. The midfielder assisted the only goal of the match against Portland Timbers but then picked up his third yellow card of the campaign against Tigres.
CF Monterrey’s dramatic comeback against Los Angeles FC was initiated through a 68th-minute penalty. New signing Sergio Canales stepped up to take the spot-kick and buried it into the bottom-right corner.
The former Real Betis striker scored the same way on his debut in the derby against Tigres UANL. After creating the most chances in the match, the 32-year-old calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net from the spot in the 97th minute.
Despite not being among the top favorites to win the 2023 Leagues Cup, Nashville SC have reached the semifinals. The MLS side is not exactly an underdog because they have been quite decent in the domestic league for the past two seasons.
Their performance in the Leagues Cup has also been quite impressive. However, they have been quite shaky every time the club has come face-to-face with a Mexican side. Nashville SC narrowly lost a seven-goal thriller against Toluca in the group stage.
In the Round of 16, the American outfit was up against 14-time Liga MX champions Club America. The game ended in a 2-2 draw in regulation time before VAR helped Nashville SC to nab a win on penalties. Against CF Monterrey, Nashville cannot afford to struggle and offer any extra room to the prolific side.
Hany Mukhtar has scored 13 goals and provided seven assists in 24 appearances for Nashville SC in the MLS this season. The 28-year-old started his Leagues Cup campaign with a goal against Colorado Rapids. However, he failed to make an impact in the next two games.
Against Toluca and FC Cincinnati, the attacker was extremely quiet, raising many concerns. The goal drought continued as he could only manage an assist against Club America. In the penalty shootout, Mukhtar failed to convert from the spot, putting his side in a problematic situation.
In the quarter-final encounter against Minnesota United, Mukhtar bounced and registered three assists and also scored the fifth and final goal of the match. The performance must have set the tone for the semi-final and potential final for the German.
Walker Zimmerman will have to be on his toes from the first minute to keep Rogelio Funes Mori and Sergio Canales at bay. Incidentally, the defender has enjoyed playing against Mexican opponents in this season’s Leagues Cup.
Not only has the 30-year-old been astute defensively, but he has managed to get on the scoresheet against Toluca and Club America. However, maintaining that form will be the key to success for Nashville SC.
Free play options
Special contests for newbies
Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets
21+ | Terms and conditions apply
Wide range of betting options
Top notch customer service
Promo Code 'SPORTS'
$500 Free Bet
21+ | VA only | Gambling problem? Call 1-800-532-3500
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2023 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.
WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.