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Pick: CF Pachuca to win (-114)
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CF Pachuca are in fine form coming into this game. The Apertura 2022 champions started their campaign with a 5-1 win over Club Puebla. The only hiccup this season for CF Pachuca came in the second game when Tigres UANL beat them 4-1. After that, CF Pachuca won three games in a row and have hoisted themselves to the top of the league table.
CD Guadalajara have also lost a solitary game so far this season, but they have also dropped two points on a couple of occasions. The side started with a stellar win against CF Monterrey before drawing against Atletico de San Luis. Then they lost against Deportivo Toluca, won against FC Juarez, and finally drew against Queretaro FC last week.
The team in formidable form is CF Pachuca, while CD Guadalajara will be the unpredictable one. The visitors have slayed a giant earlier this season, but CF Pachuca will be too hot to handle for them, so the hosts will add another three points to their tally.
The two sides have met 26 times in Liga MX and CF Pachuca have won ten games. CD Guadalajara have won on six occasions, while ten games have ended in draws. In the reverse fixture during Apertura 2022, CF Pachuca were reduced to ten men after Oscar Murillo was sent off in the first half. They held on to draw the game 0-0.
The last game at the Estadio Hidalgo featuring these two sides came in the Clausura season 0f 2022 when CF Pachuca beat CD Guadalajara 2-1. The Estadio Hidalgo could be one of the most disliked stadiums for CD Guadalajara as they have only won twice in 13 visits.
The last time CD Guadalajara won at the Estadio Hidalgo against CF Pachuca was in the Apertura season of 2017 when the visitors won 3-1. The only other win for CD Guadalajara at the venue in Liga MX came in Apertura 2014 and the score was 3-1 again.
So far, CF Pachuca have won four out of five games and have scored 13 goals in the process. No other Liga MX team has scored so many at this point. CF Pachuca have the best goals-per-match ratio after averaging 2.6 goals per match.
Javier Lopez is the leading goal scorer for the club this season after scoring four goals in five appearances. The midfielder has only fired a blank in one game so far and has attempted the most shots on target per match so far.
The 28-year-old will be eager to add to his tally by scoring against his former club for whom he made almost 200 appearances and scored over 20 goals. Lopez's fiery form has not allowed CF Pachuca to miss their last season’s talisman Nicolas Ibanez.
CF Pachuca can extend their unbeaten streak on home soil to eleven games with a win over CD Guadalajara this weekend. The last time CF Pachuca lost a Liga MX game on home soil was in August 2022, when they lost to Club America.
That was the only loss CF Pachuca incurred at home throughout the season. This time around, CF Pachuca have a perfect record at the Estadio Hidalgo after winning all three of their home games this Clausura season.
CD Guadalajara will have to do something really special if they want to take three points away from this fortress. Riding on the intimidating atmosphere at home, CF Pachuca are capable of sailing toward victory.
The attack is splendid and the defense is doing an ample job. However, there will be a midfield concern when CF Pachuca takes on CD Guadalajara. Erick Sanchez was sent off in the club’s last game against Club Leon.
The midfielder is ever-present in CF Pachuca’s midfield, from where he pulls the strings and connects the defensive third to the final third. The absence of Sanchez will be a big blow for CF Pachuca, but they can still win this tie.
Bryan Gonzalez will likely come into the midfield and slot alongside Luis Chavez, right behind linchpin Lopez.
In the Apertura 2022 season, CD Guadalajara finished ninth on the table with 22 points. The side won five games, lost five games, and drew seven. This time around, CD Guadalajara have won two, drawn two, and lost just one of their opening five fixtures.
The 12-time Liga MX champions will not be chasing the title this season, but the playoffs will be a priority for the team. After reaching the playoffs, they would want to go as far as they can, but as of now, a title charge is out of the question.
There are still a few things that need tweaking, and manager Veljko Paunovic will be eager to fix things on paper and on the pitch so he can guide his team to nab another top-half-of-the-table finish this season.
In the Apertura 2022 season, CD Guadalajara scored 19 goals in 17 games, conceding 17 in the process. The team finished with a goals-per-match average of 1.1 last season which was only the 11th-best in the league.
This season not much has changed on that front so far as CD Guadalajara continue scoring at an average of one goal per match. There are already 11 other teams who have better statistics in that aspect.
Angel Zaldivar’s loan move to Atletico de San Luis and Alexis Vega’s untimely injury will not help this cause of increasing the number of goals scored per match. Zaldivar was the club’s leading goal scorer last season with Vega right behind him.
The injury list at CD Guadalajara has four names on it now. Vega’s cruciate ligament injury has ruled him out till October. Striker Jose Macias suffered the same injury in June last year and is expected to return next month.
Defender Antonio Briseno picked up a thigh injury last month and will be out till March. Isaac Brizuela is the latest addition to this list, as his leg injury has put the right-back on the sidelines till March.
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● Teams: CF Pachuca vs CD Guadalajara
● Location: Estadio Hidalgo
● Time: Saturday, February 11 at 10:05 pm ET
● How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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