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After winning their Clausura 2024 season opener against Cruz Azul, Pachuca suffered defeat in the second match against Pumas UNAM
Atlas FC finished their match against FC Juarez with nine men on the pitch but still managed to clinch all three points after a narrow win
In the Apertura 2023 season, when these two clubs met at Estadio Jalisco, Pachuca clinched a comfortable 2-0 win
Odds taken from BetMGM Sportsbook. Bet $5, get $158 in Bonus Bets with our code WSNMGM.
Pick: CF Pachuca to win.
After starting their season with a win and a clean sheet against Cruz Azul away from home, Pachuca’s confidence was high. The club asserted its dominance in the second game of the season as well but lacked finesse and eventually ended up on the wrong side of a 3-1 scoreline against Pumas.
Atlas and Benat San Jose marked the start of the Clausura 2024 season with a disappointing 2-1 loss against Necaxa on the road. Marginal improvement in the players’ performance was noted when Atlas held Club Tijuana to a goalless draw at home, securing their first clean sheet of the season before the club notched its first win of the season against FC Juarez in the last match.
The three points were hard-earned for Atlas, who finished the last match with nine men after seeing two players sent off for committing cynical fouls. Meanwhile, Pachuca showed hunger and grit in their previous match. It will be a tight encounter between these two sides, but Pachuca have the better chance to win this fixture as they play at home after two consecutive away games.
Since 2010, these clubs have met 29 times in Liga MX, including the playoff encounter during the Clausura 2022 season. Pachuca have a slightly better record in this fixture with 13 wins under their belt. Atlas, meanwhile, have won on ten occasions, with six games ending in draws.
In the Apertura 2023 season, Jesus Hernandez scored in the 18th minute before Erick Sanchez wrapped up the three points in the 81st minute to give Pachuca a crucial 2-0 away win against Atlas. The visitors finished with ten men after Oussama Idrissi was sent off in the 85th minute.
Pachuca last hosted Atlas during their title-winning Apertura 2022 campaign. This time, Atlas finished with ten men after Anderson Santamaria was shown a straight red in the 68th minute. Nicolas Ibanez, Luis Chavez, and Javier Lopes eventually guided the hosts to a 3-1 victory.
In the first match of the new season, Pachuca looked a bit shaky in the final third but still managed to walk away with three points. In the second game, Guillermo Almada’s men looked sharper and went on to dominate the game despite losing 3-1 at the end.
Playing on enemy territory, Pumas could only attempt eight shots in the entire match. Meanwhile, a barrage of attacks at the other end took the visitors’ shot tally to 26, out of which nine were on target.
However, in the end, Pumas converted three out of their four on-target shots, while Pachuca could only breach the hosts’ defense once. Almada would want his side to be more deadly in the final third and score goals with as many opportunities as they get.
Idrissi was the standout performer for Pachuca in the last match. The Moroccan completed the most dribbles and won the most free kicks and duels in the entire 90 minutes.
The 27-year-old also nabbed an assist after setting up Alonso Aceves for Pachuca’s only goal of the evening. Idrissi was sent off when Pachuca last met Atlas. The winger will be eager to make amends in the next match.
Carlos Moreno did well to keep a clean sheet in Pachuca’s first game of the season. However, in the last match, the 26-year-old was extremely poor.
Not only did he make an error that led to a goal for Pumas, but he also made just one save during the entire match, allowing three shots to fly into the back of his net. Moreno will be aiming for redemption in the match against Atlas.
Liga MX is no stranger to cynical fouls and dissent during intense matches. So far, 11 red cards have been brandished, and the biggest concern for Atlas is that four of those cards have been shown to Atlas players.
In the club’s season opener against Necaxa, Aldo Rocha and Christopher Trejo were given their marching orders for cynical challenges and dissent. In the last match, silly fouls from Mateo Garcia and Jordy Caicedo resulted in red cards for both players.
San Jose’s men have the potential to reach the playoffs this season, but the target will be difficult to attain if the coach is without key players in important games.
As Garcia and Caicedo were dismissed against FC Juarez, they will miss the match against Pachuca. Garcia’s absence will certainly hurt Atlas, as he has been influential in the midfield.
In addition to that, a hamstring injury has ruled Juan Zapata out for a couple of weeks, while Luis Reyes remains doubtful as he recovers from a thigh injury.
Three out of the four attacking players who started the last match for Atlas are with the club on loan. Raymundo Fuglencio is on loan from Tigres UANL, Jhon Murillo is on loan from San Luis, and Eduardo Aguirre is on loan from Santos Laguna.
Fuglencio has bagged two assists in as many games, while Aguirre has proven his mettle with two goals in three appearances. Murillo is yet to make a contribution but the other two loanees have shown a lot of promise and will aim to get something against Pachuca as well.
Teams: CF Pachuca vs. Atlas FC
Location: Estadio Hidalgo
Time: Wednesday, January 31 at 8:00 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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