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At the start of the new Apertura season, it seemed as if San Luis were going to struggle for yet another season. The club started their campaign with a 1-1 draw against CF Monterrey and then lost 3-1 against Chivas Guadalajara. They immediately bounced back with a commanding 4-1 win over Queretaro FC, after which they have not dropped a single point in the Liga MX.
The 2023 Leagues Cup outing was disappointing as the club was eliminated in the group stage after two straight defeats. However, three wins in three games after resuming the league has put San Luis at the summit.
Atlas FC started the season on the front foot with a comfortable 2-0 win over Cruz Azul. The slump started right after that as they lost to CF Monterrey and then settled for a point after a goalless draw against Santos Laguna.
Their Leagues Cup run was decent but ended in the first knockout round. Fortunes failed to turn for the Clausura 2022 champions as they resumed their domestic league campaign with two back-to-back draws against Club America and Toluca. However, a 2-1 win against Queretaro FC in the last game has brought the deficit to San Luis down to four points
San Luis have gained decent momentum in recent matches. However, most of their success has come against sides that have struggled recently. On the other hand, Atlas FC may not have notched many wins, but they have held title contenders to draws. Considering those aspects, a draw is the most likely result between these two unpredictable sides.
Since 2010, the two clubs have gone head-to-head on 13 occasions in Liga MX. Out of these 13 games, San Luis have only won thrice. Atlas FC are not way ahead as they have only won this encounter five times. The remaining five matches have ended in draws.
One of those draws came in the Clausura encounter between these two clubs. Atlas FC finished that game with ten men after Julio Cesar Furch picked up two bookings in the space of seven minutes and was dismissed in the first half.
In the last Apertura season, these two teams met in Atlas FC’s backyard. Christopher Trejo put the hosts in front before the break. However, a splendid second-half performance from San Luis saw Abel Hernandez bag a brace, and Zahid Munoz scored a third to turn the game on its head.
At the end of the previous Apertura league season, San Luis won four games out of 17. In the Clausura phase, that count increased to five games. In the current Apertura season, after just six games, the club has notched four victories and only lost one game in the process.
They smashed four past an unpredictable Queretaro FC side before edging past Puebla. After that, they beat the CONCACAF Champions League winners, Club Leon, before blanking the 2022 Apertura champions Pachuca in their own backyard.
Atlas FC will be a very tricky opponent at this juncture, but if San Luis get past them, then a series of winnable games awaits them throughout the month of October. The fixtures against big clubs like Toluca, Club America, and Tigres UANL will all come towards the end of the league phase.
During the 2023 Clausura campaign, San Luis played eight league games at home. Out of those, the club lost just one. This season, they aim to beat that record, and so far, they are on the right track.
The match against Atlas FC will be San Luis’ fourth home game of the Apertura season. So far, the club has won two and drawn one. They have scored eight goals in those three games and have been defensively astute, conceding just two.
San Luis have struggled in the attacking department for quite some time now. The signing of Leo has not been effective, as the striker has only scored one goal in five appearances this season. Despite that, San Luis have scored the most goals in the league at this juncture.
After just six games, San Luis have ten different goalscorers. Defender Unai Bilbao has converted three penalties and is the top scorer for the club. Winger Vitinho has scored twice and will be looking to take the lead in that chart soon.
Judging by the current standings, it is easy to assume that Atlas FC have gotten off to a poor start this season. However, when their fixtures are studied closely, the opinions change. After five games, Atlas FC have drawn three, lost one, and won one.
The 2023 Leagues Cup may have helped the side recover a bit. During that competition, Atlas FC beat Major League Soccer (MLS) sides New York City FC and Toronto FC while securing a shutout against both clubs.
They were eliminated in the first knockout round after a very intense penalty shootout against the New England Revolution, who are one of the MLS title contenders this season. In the first two post-break Liga MX games, Atlas FC held Toluca and Club America, and that speaks volumes.
Concern was looming over the Atlas FC camp after the side secured three consecutive draws. While a point may have been better than nothing at all, the club was eager for a win. That wait ended in the last match against Queretaro FC.
Augusto Solari scored deep into first-half stoppage time before Emanuel Gularte restored parity in the 81st minute. Atlas FC were headed for a fourth successive stalemate before Juan Zapata scored the winner in the 91st minute to give his side their first win after opening day.
After scoring two goals in the last match, Atlas FC’s goal tally for the season reached five. Amidst the teams that are currently occupying the top ten spots of the Apertura table, Atlas FC have scored the fewest goals.
Only two of the five goals have been scored by strikers and both strikers are at Atlas FC on loan deals. One of them is Eduardo Aguire, who has not featured since the Apertura season resumed after the break. The striker is on loan from Santos Laguna and is out with a knee injury.
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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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