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The top two sides from the 2021-22 Apertura league season will face one another this Saturday in what should be an enthralling tie. Atlas, who won two consecutive titles before the 2022-23 Apertura season, have drastically declined in the last 12-16 months.
They finished in 17th place in the 2022-23 Apertura league season and have accumulated just seven points in seven games this season. Club America, on the other hand, are still going strong in third place and look set to qualify for the playoffs.
Atlas are playing at home, but Club America will be firm favorites heading into this tie. They’ve also come on top in this matchup numerous times with eight wins, one draw, and three losses. Atlas have managed four draws this season, and a draw will be seen as a good result as far as they are concerned, but Club America look like they have too much for them currently. We think Club America will get all three points and continue their march to the top.
The last match between these two sides ended in a 0-0 draw back in July 2022. Club America, who were the home side, had the greater share of possession (55%) and took 16 shots to Atlas’ eight, but couldn't break the deadlock.
The two sides also met in January 2022, with Atlas coming on top with a 2-0 scoreline. Club America had a player sent off in the 78th minute but should’ve done better before it came to that point. They took 14 shots in the game compared to Atlas’ four. Atlas scored in the 75th minute before punishing Club America for their discipline in second-half stoppage time to win 2-0.
Club America will do well to remember that there are no easy games in Liga MX. Atlas might not be the team they once were, but they can still pull off an upset on the odd day.
Atlas were on the receiving end of another frustrating result after losing 1-0 to Tigres UANL on Saturday. Nicolas Ibanez’s goal in first-half stoppage time separated the two sides, but there wasn’t a lot between the two sides over the 90 minutes. Atlas took 11 shots compared to Tigres’ 10 but only had 43% of the possession.
Possession doesn’t determine everything, but it’s never a good sign when a team is conceding possession at home. Tigres had a man sent off in second-half stoppage time, but the game was essentially over by then. Atlas will have to perform better if they want something out of the game against Club America.
After winning back-to-back league titles, Atlas were expected to continue their dominance in Liga MX. It shocked everyone who follows Liga MX when they finished in 17th place in the 2022-23 Apertura season.
On the one hand, this was an excellent advert for Liga MX – that no team is ever safe, but no one could’ve seen them disintegrate like this after lifting the Liga MX trophy in May 2022 and the season before that. There have been teams throughout the history of football who’ve had blips after winning a league - English Premier League giants Manchester United had one after Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Still, even they did not fall so far down. Atlas seem like they’re on the path to recovery, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be in the run-in for the title this season. A win against Club America isn’t going to change that, as they’ve already dropped far too many points.
Club America managed another impressive performance over the weekend with a 2-1 win against Club Tijuana. Leonardo Suarez gave them the lead with a 40th-minute strike, and Diego Valdes Contreras made it 2-0. Tijuana went down to 10 men in the 69th minute after Misael Dominguez got sent off, but this didn’t dampen their spirit – they got a consolation goal in the 81st minute thanks to Silvia Alejandro Martinez.
Club America were worthy winners on the day. They had 59% possession and took 18 shots to Tijuana’s 14, with seven finding the target. They showed some complacency after Tijuana went down to 10 men, but it didn’t cost them much in the end.
They’ll be well aware that Atlas have had a decent record against them in recent years but should go into this tie as heavy favorites. This isn’t the same Atlas side from a few years ago, and it’s a fantastic chance for Club America to showcase their dominance.
Club America have arguably been the most consistent side in Liga MX for the last few seasons, but they haven’t been able to turn that dominance into league titles. They won the Apertura title in 2018 and have been one of the top league sides since, but have floundered in the playoffs.
They’ll go into this season as one of the favorites but can’t rest on their laurels. They’ve not lost a game so far this season but have drawn four games – which is a bit underwhelming by their high standards.
A team can’t have subpar days to win the Liga MX table, and they’ve had a few already. Atlas have also been a bit of a bogey side for Club America in recent years, and a win would symbolize growth. Monterrey and Tigres are ahead of them in the league table, but there are still a lot of matches to play and points to earn.
Club America have won 12 Liga MX titles, and the expectation from fans will always be quite high, but they have got to embrace it and come through it. Diego Valdes has been in good form, and he’ll be expected to score the goals, but Alejandro Zendejas and Henry Martin will also have to do their part if Club America want to end the season with silverware.
Manager Fernando Ortiz will be well aware that his job might be on the line if he can’t get Club America past this final hurdle.
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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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