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After a disappointing performance in the 2023 Leagues Cup, San Luis have been nothing short of clinical in the ongoing Apertura season. The club started their season with a draw, loss, and win in the opening three games of the domestic league. After the break, the league leaders have won four out of the last five games, keeping three clean sheets.
They defeated Puebla and 2022 Apertura champions Pachuca in their respective home stadiums. Meanwhile, at home, San Luis beat CONCACAF Champions League winners Club Leon and Atlas FC. However, a stellar five-game winning streak came to an end in the last game against Pumas UNAM.
The struggles of Mazatlan FC continue in the Liga MX as the club is dangling just three points clear of the bottom of the table. After an early exit from the 2023 Leagues Cup, Mazatlan FC resumed the 2023 Apertura season with their first win of the campaign against Puebla. However, they were unable to build on that victory and drew the next game against Club Tijuana.
Things went from bad to worse when they suffered their third defeat of the season when they went head-to-head with FC Juarez. Mazatlan FC were on the verge of clinching their second win of the season last Friday but were held to a draw by Cruz Azul.
Predicting the outcome of this match is quite easy. Hence, the bookmakers have backed the hosts with strong odds. San Luis clearly have the upper hand in this fixture and it seems certain that Mazatlan will not be able to pick up any points in this match.
The two clubs have only met each other six times in Liga MX. San Luis have the better record with three wins. Two games have ended in draws and Mazatlan have only beaten San Luis once, and that victory came in the very first encounter between these two teams.
In the 2020 Guard1anes Apertura season, Mazatlan netted five goals past San Luis and conceded none. Camilo scored a splendid hattrick with Luis Mendoza and Fernando Aristeguieta added the other two goals to Mazatlan’s tally.
Since then, San Luis have been unbeaten against Mazatlan. In the previous encounter that took place in the 2023 Clausura season, a Nestor Vidrio own goal opened the scoring for San Luis. Eduard Bello equalized for the visitors before Angel Zaldivar’s penalty gave the hosts a win.
In the 2022 Clausura encounter between these two clubs at the Estadio Alfonso Lastras Ramirez also ended in favor of the hosts. Jhon Murillo’s 71st-minute strike was enough to give San Luis a narrow win over the visitors.
Despite being at the top of the table, the bookmakers have not backed San Luis with strong odds to win the Liga MX title this Apertura season. As things stand, Gustavo Leal’s men are a point clear at the top of the table but could lose that spot to Club America soon.
The gap between San Luis and second-placed FC Juarez could have been greater than a solitary point if San Luis had extended their prolific winning streak to six games. However, the club conceded two late goals and dropped all points in the last game against Pumas UNAM.
The objective of the hosts in the next game will be to clinch all three points and stay at the summit of the league standings. That could set the perfect tone for the second half of the season and eventually, for the playoffs.
San Luis have lost just two out of eight league games this season. Both defeats have come on enemy territory as the club has managed to maintain a decent record in their own backyard. At home, San Luis have won three and drawn just one out of four matches so far.
Replicating or even bettering their home league form of the 2023 Clausura season will be the club’s goal this season. In the previous Clausura phase, San Luis lost just one out of eight home games all season, drawing three and winning four.
Reaching the midway point of the regular season, San Luis have scored 17 goals in eight games. However, only seven goals have been scored by the attacking players, with ten goals coming from midfielders and defenders.
Unai Bilbao is still the club’s leading goalscorer so far. The center-back has netted four in eight appearances. Three of those have been from the spot. Despite the lack of attacking flair from strikers, San Luis still have the second-best goalscoring average in the league.
Eight games into the 2023 Apertura season, Mazatlan are ranked 15th in the table. The club is ahead of fellow strugglers Cruz Azul, Puebla, and Necaxa. The four teams are separated by only three points.
However, the pursuit for playoff qualification is yet to end for Mazatlan as they still have a chance to move up the table and pull off a major surprise. While the club is three points off the bottom, it is also just four away from the last playoff qualification spot.
Club Tijuana are currently sitting in tenth, which is the final qualification spot, with 11 points. Two positive results for Mazatlan and a few favorable results elsewhere could help the team jump places and be an active part of the intense race for knockout football.
Mazatlan have played eight games this season so far and have only registered one win. That solitary win against Puebla came at home. In four games on the road this Apertura season, Mazatlan have drawn two and lost two.
The visitors are yet to pick up all available points away from home in this campaign. In their last 12 away games, Mazatlan have only won once. Their last win came against defending champions Tigres UANL in the closing stages of the league phase of the 2023 Clausura season.
Mazatlan will be without several players when they take on San Luis. The injury list consists of five first-team players and the most notable absentees are Josue Colman, Nestor Vidrio, and Lucas Merolla.
These absentees have made Mazatlan’s defense weaker. The center-back duo of Vidrio and Merolla is a combination the visitors would have loved to field against San Luis’ attackers. However, both are out along with midfielder Colman, who has scored and assisted once.
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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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