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Odds taken from BetMGM Sportsbook.
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Pick: CF Pachuca to win
Pachuca are desperately trying to recover from their slump that started right after the club won their seventh Liga MX title at the end of the 2022 Apertura campaign. In the last five games, a damage limitation exercise has seen the club lose two games in the form of back-to-back defeats against San Luis and Toluca. After that, they beat Santos Laguna and shared the points with Chivas in the last match after a goalless draw.
Necaxa may not be in the playoff qualification fight this season despite getting their first win of the season with aplomb this past Sunday. The club is just two points off the bottom of the table and is trying to gain momentum to finish in a respectable position. That is the primary objective of the side after which Necaxa may try their luck and join the intense playoff pursuit towards the end of the regular season.
Despite pulling off an exceptional result in the last match, the bookmakers have released bleak odds for Necaxa. Pachuca are favorites to nab three points in this game.
Necaxa gave CF Pachuca a real scare when the two sides met back in August, but CF Pachuca eventually came out as the victors with a 1-0 victory, thanks to a goal from Emlio Lara. CF Pachuca had 58% of the possession, but that didn’t stop Necaxa from taking a lot of shots.
Necaxa took 13 shots in the game, with two meeting the target without actually helping them get on the scoresheet. CF Pachuca took 15 shots on the day, with four of them finding the target. Overall, CF Pachuca were worthy winners on the day, but Necaxa made them work hard for the points.
The 2023 Apertura campaign started with two draws and a loss for Pachuca before they entered the 2023 League Cup and were eliminated after the first game in the knockouts. The Liga MX campaign resumed with another draw.
They clinched a crucial win over Cruz Azul but lost two consecutive games after that. However, they nabbed their second win of the season in a five-goal thriller against Santos Laguna and were held to a draw by Chivas last weekend. Now they just have to continue avoiding defeats.
There is no room for error if Pachuca are aiming to book a playoff spot this season. They are ranked 15th on the table but are still just one point away from the final qualification spot.
In the last match, Illian Hernandez had a glorious chance to win the game for Pachuca as the club won a penalty in the 81st minute. However, the striker’s effort was stopped by the keeper.
Despite failing to find the back of the net with the penalty, Hernandez is the club’s top scorer with two goals in seven appearances.
In the box, the 23-year-old will need some assistance and that could come from the experienced feet of Lucas Di Yorio. However, the 32-year-old has scored just once in five starts this season.
Not only did Necaxa nab their first win of the season when they shocked Santos Laguna in the last match, but they also ended an abysmal 13-game winless streak in the league. Across all competitions, Necaxa had failed to win in their last 16 matches.
Santos dominated the ball possession and attempted more shots during the match, but Necaxa were extremely clinical and scored with all five shots that were on target. In defense, they only conceded two, while four were parried to safety.
It took Necaxa just one match to double their goal tally of the season. That highlights how poor the attacking department has been since the start.
Facundo Batista is the club’s top scorer with three goals. The Uruguayan is expected to get attacking support from midfielder Alejandro Andrade, who bagged a brace in the last match.
Apart from scoring three goals, Batista has also nabbed an assist, and that came in the previous match. His last goal came in the match before that when Necaxa held FC Juarez to a 1-1 draw.
The striker has a lot of potential but needs to be consistent. Two out of his three goals came against a staunch Club America defense earlier this season.
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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