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CF Pachuca climbed to sixth place in the Clausura 2024 table after their recent win over Club Tijuana.
Club Leon are sitting 12th in the table, five points behind their next opponents after losing their last match against Deportivo Toluca.
When these two clubs clashed in the Apertura 2023 season, Club Leon thrashed CF Pachuca 4-0 at Estadio Leon.
Odds taken from BetMGM Sportsbook. Bet $5, get $158 in Bonus Bets with our code WSNMGM.
Pick: CF Pachuca to win.
Four games into the Clausura 2024 season, Pachuca have notched nine points. The season started well with a 1-0 win over Cruz Azul, but a defeat in the second match against Pumas UNAM snatched the momentum away. However, Guillermo Almada’s men showed resilience and bounced back with two back-to-back wins over Atlas FC and Club Tijuana.
Club Leon has registered just one win in four games so far this season. Their Clausura 2024 campaign started with a narrow 2-1 home loss against Tigres UANL. They replicated the Apertura 2024 play-in outcome against Santos Laguna in the second game of the season before drawing 2-2 against Mazatlan and losing 4-1 against Toluca.
The bookmakers have backed the hosts to win, and that is the most probable outcome. The Apertura 2022 champions are aiming to reinstate themselves among the big guns of the Mexican top division. Meanwhile, the 2023 CONCACAF Champions League winners, Leon, have shown no signs of improvement so far. Hence, the edge lies with Pachuca in this fixture.
Including multiple Liga MX playoff encounters, Pachuca and Leon have met 27 times in the past. The former has the better record in this fixture, as they have registered 12 wins so far, while the latter has won on eight occasions. Seven games have ended in a draw.
The probability of a stalemate is quite low because none of the last five matches between these two clubs have ended in a draw. Pachuca have won three, with Leon winning the other two. One of the two wins for Leon came in the Apertura 2023 season, when they thrashed Pachuca 4-0.
The last time Pachuca played host to Leon was in their title-winning campaign for Apertura 2022. The visitors were reduced to ten men after Julien Celestine was shown a second yellow in the 69th minute, before Israel Luna scored the only goal of the match in the 87th minute.
It has been a while since Pachuca clinched a win in Liga MX, which was by a margin of more than one goal. That victory came against Atlas in the Apertura 2023 season in November. Nine out of Pachuca’s last ten wins in the league have been by a slender one-goal margin.
Ultimately, the three points matter, but living dangerously has cost Pachuca dearly in the past. Establishing a cushion of two or more goals will enable the team to play in a more relaxed manner, and that can also help the defense to keep a clean sheet.
While the defensive concerns may be bothering the gaffer, the attacking department has shown potency, which can help Pachuca be one of the best-attacking clubs this season.
They have the second-best goalscoring ratio in the league and have unleashed more shots on target than any other side in the league, making Pachuca a difficult team to defend against.
The attacking department of the hosts is led by their new signing, Jose Salomon Rondon. The Venezuelan striker has scored four goals and nabbed one assist in four appearances.
The 34-year-old scored against Cruz Azul, fired a blank against Pumas, bagged a brace against Atlas, and scored against Tijuana after providing an assist for Oussama Idrissi for the second goal.
Leon’s defense will undergo two tough tests in the space of just three days. First, Jorge Bava’s men have to keep Rondon and co at bay on enemy territory. After that, they will travel home to host the defending champions, Club America.
Under new management, the club will require time to settle down and adapt to the new training methods and on-pitch tactics of Bava. Hence, the possibility of Leon securing even one positive result in the next two matches is relatively low.
In their last match, Leon were hammered 4-1 by Toluca. There were a few positives to take from the game, including the fine performances of Alan Medina and Angel Mena on the flanks.
In defense, Jaine Barreiro won the most duels in the match and thwarted many attacks, saving Leon from embarrassment. The Colombian defender will need help from his defensive partner, Adonis Frias, who had a very quiet game against Toluca.
Leon is traveling to Pachuca with a horrendous away record. Their last win at Estadio Hidalgo came in August 2020. In addition to that, Leon are winless in their last six away games in the league and have won just one out of their last 14 away matches in Liga MX.
This statistic will add to Bava’s concern when his side goes toe-to-toe with a high-flying Pachuca side. Last season, Leon won just one out of eight away games in the regular season. They drew two and lost five, collecting just five points on the road.
Teams: CF Pachuca vs Club Leon
Location: Estadio Hidalgo
Time: Wednesday, February 7 at 10:00 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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