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Odds taken from bet365.
Los Angeles FC are the heavy favorites going into their quarterfinal clash against CF Monterrey on Friday. The team is in excellent form at the moment, having scored a whopping 11 goals in just two matches in the first two knockout rounds, firing seven against FC Juarez and four against Real Salt Lake.
The knockout match against FC Juarez was Los Angeles FC’s first competitive game since the MLS break started because they received a bye to the knockout stages by being the MLS top seed. They are strong favorites to lift the 2023 Leagues Cup trophy after their splendid performance in the knockouts.
CF Monterrey avenged their Liga MX Clausura semifinal defeat against Tigres UANL in the Round of 16. However, it was a closely fought encounter with just one goal separating the two teams. The Mexican side will require a lot more firepower to outplay Los Angeles FC, who are beating their opponents at the moment.
These two teams have never faced each other in a competitive match before. Though CF Monterrey are no stranger to taking on American clubs, they are yet to test their might against the reigning MLS champions.
Neither team has lost any of their last five games. However, CF Monterrey have the better record, as they have won all five of their previous games. Los Angeles FC, on the other hand, suffered from poor form towards the end of the first half of the MLS season, winning only one of their last five MLS games, therefore, their record stands at three wins and two draws.
The Americans have benefited from a nearly three-week-long break before the Leagues Cup knockouts, as they have come out and scored emphatic victories. CF Monterrey has reached the last eight by scoring narrow 1-0 victories against both Portland Timbers and Clasico Regio rivals Tigres UANL in the first two knockout rounds.
Approaching the mid-season break, Los Angeles FC were struggling in their domestic league but have turned their poor form on its head and are now amongst the favorites to win the 2023 Leagues Cup.
Despite the poor form, The reigning MLS champions are ranked second in the Western Conference table of the MLS with 37 points from 23 games, winning ten, drawing seven, and losing six.
The club has gained the desired momentum from the first two knockout rounds by firing 11 goals in two matches and conceding just one. Los Angeles FC also set a club record for the biggest winning margin after netting seven goals against FC Juarez in the first knockout round.
Another high-scoring encounter is expected, and CF Monterrey will have their hands full in trying to keep Los Angeles FC from scoring. After just two games in the Leagues Cup, the American outfit is scoring an average of over five goals per match.
Dennis Bouanga nabbed a hattrick against FC Juarez and then bagged a brace against Real Salt Lake. The 28-year-old is performing exactly the way he has performed in the domestic league, in which he has scored 12 and set up two in 21 appearances.
In the previous encounter against Real Salt Lake, experienced striker Carlos Vela was absent from the squad. Coach Steven Cherundolo later confirmed that it was because of a knock. However, the injury is not severe, but the striker is doubtful ahead of the quarterfinal.
The 34-year-old will work extremely hard on recovering from this slight niggle as he will be eager to score more in the competition. The veteran scored two goals and nabbed an assist in the 7-1 drubbing of FC Juarez.
CF Monterrey finished the last Liga MX Clausura phase at the top of the table, winning 13 of 17 league stage games. However, the season ended without silverware for the club as they suffered an unfortunate loss against their city-rivals Tigres UANL in the playoff semifinals.
The current season of the Liga MX Apertura has just begun before the break for the Leagues Cup. CF Monterrey have played three matches and are unbeaten, winning two and drawing the third match.
In the 2023 Leagues Cup, the Mexican side has won all four of their games in regulation time so far. The club is eager to nab a trophy this season and coach Fernando Ortiz will hope to continue the winning run against Los Angeles FC to make that happen.
CF Monterrey secured passage to the quarterfinals and earned bragging rights after beating their rivals in the previous round. However, in an extremely tightly contested fixture, CF Monterrey required a penalty to oust their opponents.
Sergio Canales was under pressure but kept his head to convert the crucial spot kick in the 97th minute, two minutes before Tigres UANL were reduced to ten men after Javier Aquino received a second yellow.
German Berterame bagged five goals and one assist in the group stages of the competition. However, after fracturing his foot against Portland Timbers, the top scorer of CF Monterrey will miss the vital clash against Los Angeles FC.
CF Monterrey are five-time Liga MX champions and five-time CONCACAF Champions League winners. But the club’s last trophy came two years ago. Fans are getting restless as they are used to seeing their team bring in silverware on a regular basis. The Los Rayados also won the CONCACAF Champions League trophy for three consecutive years between 2011 and 2013.
Ortiz will be looking for his team to get back to winning ways at the 2023 Leagues Cup. They failed to make it to the finals of the Liga MX Apertura and Clausura editions last year despite qualifying for the playoffs both times. The odds are grossly stacked against the Mexicans, though, with Los Angeles FC posing a massive challenge in their quest to lift their maiden Leagues Cup title.
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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
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