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Atlas will host Leon at the Jalisco Stadium on Saturday. Leon are eight-time Liga MX champions, and Atlas are three-time Liga MX champions.
Atlas looks better this season but are nothing like the team that won Liga MX a few seasons ago.
Leon are sitting in seventh place on the Liga MX table and had one of their best victories of the season last week. They’ll head into this tie as favorites despite being the away side.
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Pick: Draw and both teams to score. (+225)
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This doesn’t look like a tie that will provide a lot of fireworks. Leon are six points ahead of Atlas on the Liga MX table, but they’ve only scored 11 goals in nine games this season. Atlas have scored just one more with an extra game.
Leon are undefeated in their last five games and will head into this tie as slight favorites, but they haven’t played with much conviction this season, bar their last match. Atlas are playing at home, and Leon’s conservative approach might just help Atlas build some confidence.
Atlas aren’t the side from two seasons ago, and Leon aren’t playing like eight-time Liga MX champions at the minute. Leon have improved since last season, but more is expected of them. This game has a low-scoring draw written all over it.
Atlas have the better head-to-head record, but the two clubs have faced each other just eight times. Atlas have come out on top thrice, lost twice, and drawn twice. They also won the last match between the two sides 2-0 back in 2021.
This game occurred at a time when Atlas were the top side in Liga MX. They got the lead in the 8th minute thanks to Anderson Santamaria before Diego Barbosa made it 2-0 in the 60th minute. Atlas had just 28% possession on the day but were very effective every time they got on the ball. They took 10 shots to Leon’s eight, with six working the keeper. Leon, on the other hand, didn’t get a single shot on target.
A game from two years back will make little to no difference in the outcome of this game. Both sides have changed a lot since this game.
Atlas drew 1-1 to Club Tijuana on the weekend, which makes it nine games without a win. This was Atlas’ sixth draw of the season and a fair result at the end of the day. Julio Firch put them ahead in the 17th minute, but Lucas Cavallini scored just before the half-time whistle to level the score.
Atlas had 52% of the possession and took 14 shots to Club Tijuana’s 10, but Tijuana never looked like conceding in the second half. Atlas have looked a bit better in home games this season, so they’ll be banking on that when they face Leon on the weekend. The defense has been the main issue this season – they’ve conceded 15 goals in 10 games. On the goalscoring front, the team hasn’t had too many issues – they’ve scored 12 in 10 games, which isn’t a bad return. If they can shore up the defense a little, they’ll certainly climb up the table.
Atlas’ decline was one of the big stories of last season. It was remarkable to watch a team that had won consecutive league titles fall to 17th place on the Liga MX table. They’re in 14th place on the Liga MX table, which isn’t where they want to be, but the performances have been a bit better than last season’s.
Atlas’ decline is a timely reminder that no one stays on top in Liga MX for too long. It has been a strange couple of years for the fans – from seeing the club win a Liga MX title for the first time in 70 years to falling to the bottom is not common. The fans have been supportive throughout this period, but the standards and expectations have also risen because of the recent success. New manager Benjamin Mora will not be given a pass because of last season’s disintegration – he has to start winning games soon.
Leon put in one of their finest displays of the season in a 2-0 win over San Luis on the weekend but had to wait until the end to leave the Estadio Leon with all three points. Brian Rubio’s goal one minute into second-half stoppage time sent the home fans into raptures. Hector Guevara scored another three minutes later to ensure all three points.
Even though they had to wait for the goals, they were worthy winners on the day. Leon dominated the game from start to finish – they had 60% possession, and took 20 shots to San Luis’ nine, with 10 finding the target. They were unfortunate not to score a bit earlier in the game, but they won’t care how they got the three points in the end.
Leon are unbeaten in their last five games, but this was certainly the best result and performance during the run. There’s nothing quite like a last-minute win, and the team must build on the momentum.
Leon’s indiscipline has been the biggest issue all season. They’ve finished games with just 10 men on four occasions this season, which is unacceptable for any team in the league. Liga MX teams have always had discipline issues, but four red cards is going overboard.
Manager Nicolas Larcamon needs to put a stop to this as soon as possible because Leon showed last week that they are a decent side. The mood around the club has completely changed after last week’s performance against San Luis. It could so easily have been another frustrating day, but Leon played till the final whistle and got their rewards.
Leon have handed the opposition the initiative too often this season. They have a great chance to climb up the table this week – a win could take them to the top five and confirm the positives in recent weeks. They’ve not lost a game in five and must keep this run going. Atlas are still in recovery mode, so this game is a great chance for another three points.
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Teams: Atlas vs Leon
Location: Jalisco Stadium
Time: Saturday, March 11 at 5:00 pm ET onwards
How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
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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