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Atlas FC have lost three out of their first six games of the Clausura 2024 season, with the latest loss coming in their last game against Mazatlan FC
Pumas UNAM have lost just one out of six games so far, and their last game ended with the club clinching a 3-0 victory over Club Puebla
When these two sides met last season, Pumas UNAM played hosts and nabbed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Atlas FC
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Atlas have several problems, but the root of all concerns is the lack of consistency. In the last five matches, the club has won twice, lost as many, and drawn once. The draw came against Tijuana and was followed by a 2-1 win over FC Juarez. Before the club could dodge defeat again, CF Pachuca beat Atlas 4-3. The team bounced back to beat Santos 3-0 at home but faltered again to hand Mazatlan their first win of the Clausura 2024 season in the last match.
Pumas are on a decent run after dodging defeat in the last four Liga MX games. After the disappointing loss against Atletico de San Luis in the second match of the season, Pumas registered a convincing 3-1 victory against Pachuca. That result was followed by two back-to-back 2-2 draws against Necaxa and Tigres UANL. The club returned to winning ways in the last match after posting a 3-0 win over Puebla.
There are many aspects to look at in this match, including the recent run of the two clubs, their record against each other, and their respective home and away forms. The bookmakers have backed the hosts as the favorites, but beating Pumas will be tough for every team this season. Both sides will likely cancel each other out and ultimately share the points after the full-time whistle.
There has been no shortage of stalemates in this fixture, as 16 out of the last 28 Liga MX encounters between these two clubs have ended in draws. Pumas have won eight times, while Atlas have registered wins on four occasions.
After three consecutive draws in this fixture, Pumas ended the stalemate streak with a splendid 3-0 win over Atlas in the Apertura 2023 season. Juan Dinenno, Cesar Huerta, and Gustavo Del Prete were on the scoresheet that evening at Estadio Olimpico de Universitario.
Atlas’ last win over Pumas in Liga MX came in their title-winning Apertura 2021 campaign. Atlas won the away leg 1-0 and lost by the same margin in the second leg at home to reach the playoffs' final by being the higher-seeded side.
The loan signings made by new coach Benat San Jose have already shown their class. Eduardo Aguirre, who has been at Atlas on loan from Santos since June 2023, has already scored four goals in five appearances.
The striker has scored in all the last three games. His teammate, Raymundo Fulgencio, has joined the club on loan from Tigres. The winger has registered three assists in five appearances. This loanee duo is a prolific and deadly combination for opposition defenders.
Atlas have lost all three of their away games this season but are still holding the fort in their own backyard. They have drawn one and won the other two home games this season and extended their unbeaten streak at home to four games.
The streak will remain intact if the hosts can secure a win or a draw against Pumas in the next match. This is an attainable target for Atlas, considering the vulnerabilities of Pumas.
In the last match against Mazatlan, Anderson Santamaria’s careless challenge on Luis Amarilla resulted in a red card for the former.
A man down, Atlas eventually lost the match and will be without their primary defender against Pumas. His replacement against Mazatlan, Carlos Robles, made an error that allowed Mazatlan to score. Hence, Santamaria’s absence could impact the outcome of the game.
A statistic that hands Pumas a psychological advantage is their head-to-head record against Atlas. Firstly, the visitors have not lost against Atlas in the last five Liga MX games. Three of those games have ended in draws, with Pumas winning the other two.
Secondly, Atlas have only beaten Pumas once in the last ten attempts in the league. That solitary victory came in the title-winning campaign of 2021. The visitors will be eager to extend this prolific streak against Atlas and climb further up the table.
While there is a streak Pumas want to preserve, there is another one that they are itching to end. The latter is their winless streak away from home that was extended to six games after the 2-2 draw against Tigres.
Pumas’ last away win in Liga MX came in October during the Apertura 2023 season when they beat Cruz Azul 4-1 at Estadio Azteca. Since then, the club has lost three and drawn as many on the road.
Pumas were already without the services of Rogelio Funes Mori for this match, and now they might be without Cesar Huerta.
The 23-year-old, who has assisted twice in five appearances this season, is out with a slight niggle and could be a big miss for Pumas if he is unable to recover for the next match.
Teams: Atlas FC vs. Pumas UNAM
Location: Estadio Jalisco
Time: Wednesday, February 14 at 10:00 pm ET
How to Watch: Univision, Telemundo, Fox Sports, ESPN, Vix and Sling TV
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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