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The hosts displayed a fine performance at home in their last match. They overcame the odds to blank defending champions Tigres UANL 2-0. Atlas FC struggled to maintain possession of the ball but had more shots on target and a better conversion rate. The hosts broke the deadlock through Juan Zapata in the 31st minute and doubled their lead when forward Jordy Caicedo found the back of the net in the 44th minute.
Meanwhile, the visitors will continue to find a win after their poor start to the season. They will derive inspiration from their last away match against a ten-man Queretaro FC side which ended in a 1-1 draw. Mexican midfielder Diego de Buen opened the scoring in the 10th minute while Kevin Escamilla netted the equalizer in second-half stoppage time.
Atlas FC will be the outright favorites to win this contest against Puebla.
Atlas FC and Puebla have faced off 30 times in the Liga MX. Their rivalry has been neck and neck since 2010. Atlas FC has won 12 matches, while Puebla clinched 11 wins and seven fixtures ended in a draw.
In their previous meeting, which took place in March this year, Atlas ran riot against Puebla and secured a 4-0 win. Brian Lozano (5’, 69’) netted a brace, while their former star striker Julian Quinones (16’) scored a goal in the first half and Gaston Silva (51’) put one back in his own net.
Atlas will be riding high on confidence as they are unbeaten in the last three home fixtures, securing two wins and a draw. Puebla has registered two draws and as many losses in their last four away games.
Uruguayan midfielder Brian Lozana, who was nominated for the 2023 Puskas Award, is set to miss the upcoming match due to a thigh injury. Lozano featured in five Liga MX Apertura appearances before he was sidelined with the injury.
He has assisted twice for the team and is expected to return to action in mid-October. Anderson Santamaria is doubtful for the fixture due to a thigh injury. The center-back has made six appearances in the current Apertura season and assisted once.
Atlas FC will eye the top three spots in the Liga MX Apertura’s crunch battle. The hosts are tied with Juarez at 15 points and one win can see them leapfrog Tigres UANL to the third spot in the points table.
Atlas will also have a chance to add to their two-match unbeaten streak against a struggling Puebla side.
Caicedo and Zapata have been amongst the goals for Atlas in the ongoing season and will be expected to find the back of the net in the upcoming match. The Ecuadorian has netted thrice in six appearances, while his Colombian compatriot has netted twice in eight matches.
Apart from the duo, Mexican midfielder Aldo Rocha has netted once in nine appearances and Jaziel Martínez has scored one in eight matches.
Mexican coach Ricardo Carbajal has been under fire for Puebla’s poor run in the Liga MX Apertura. The club won their first and only fixture in the Liga MX Apertura against Juarez in August. De Buen netted the lone goal of the match to guide his side to a slender 1-0 win.
Since then, their next match against Club Tijuana was canceled. They registered a 1-1 draw vs Queretaro and lost 0-2 to Pumas UNAM in their last outing.
Puebla will continue to miss the services of their Mexican center-forward Angel Robles. He has featured in five appearances for the club and assisted once.
The statistics may not show the true potential of the striker but he can play an influential role when he returns in a week or two.
Puebla will bank heavily on their midfielder De Buen to break their winless drought. The Mexican has been a vital cog in their setup, as he has made all nine appearances for the club this season. He has made his presence felt by netting twice in these matches.
Forward Guillermo Martinez Ayala has also been a crucial member of the side. His talismanic presence has seen him find the net twice and assist once in eight appearances. Defender Brayan Angulo has also been in the thick of the action and has contributed twice for the side.
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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