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Pick: Club America to win (-278)
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Club America kicked their campaign off with a goalless draw against Queretaro FC. In the second game, the Aguilas dropped two points against arch-rivals Deportivo Toluca. Club America made it three draws on the trot after their 2-2 draw against Puebla. The frustration ended with a 6-0 thumping of Mazatlan FC but Club America dropped points again after a draw against Santos Laguna last week.
Club Necaxa lost their first two games of the Clausura season before nabbing their first win against Cruz Azul. They faced another defeat after that against Pachuca before holding Tijuana to a 1-1 draw.
Playing in the backyard of the most successful team in Liga MX will be an intimidating experience for Club Necaxa and they won’t be able to cope up with the pressure, so this could turn out to be an easy win for Club America.
The two sides played a six-goal thriller that ended in a stalemate two months ago in a preseason encounter. Before that, in the Apertura 2022 league phase, Club America came from behind to win 2-1 against Club Necaxa.
The head-to-head stats are almost evenly balanced as Club America have beaten Club Necaxa six times in Liga MX, while Club Necaxa have emerged victorious on five occasions. Six fixtures have ended in draws and that is not a result Club America will like to see.
In the last five visits to the Estadio Azteca against Club America, Club Necaxa have, surprisingly, won thrice. However, in the last five Liga MX encounters, they are winless against the Aguilas. Club Necaxa’s last win over Club America came in the Clausura 2020 season when the former won 3-0 at the Estadio Azteca.
No Liga MX team has won more titles than Club America. They were prolific in the Apertura 2022 season before losing against arch-rivals Deportivo Toluca in the playoff semi-finals. A good start to the Clausura season would have been the perfect respite for the club.
However, that has not happened yet. Five games in, Club America are unbeaten, but that is after drawing four out of their five games so far. The 13-time Liga MX champions’ displeasure is evident and so was their hunger when they walloped Mazatlan FC 6-0 two weeks ago.
The accumulated frustration could fuel the fire that guides Club America to the win in the next match and help them gain momentum for the next round of fixtures.
Goal scoring has rarely been an issue for the 13-time champions. Club America have scored 12 goals in the last five games, averaging 2.4 goals per match. This is the second-best average in the Clausura season so far.
At the other end of the pitch, Club America have conceded six goals in five games. It is evident that the Aguilas’ backline is unable to handle the pressure and keep opposition attackers at bay. The defense has let in more than one goal per match in three out of five games.
As long as the defense remains frail, Club America will experience an extremely challenging season. More clean sheets and a tighter defense will be a necessity if Club America want to compete for the title.
Three defenders went out the exit gate at Club America. Jordan Silva went to Cruz Azul and Bruno Valdez went to Boca Juniors. Meanwhile, Jorge Mere has moved to Cadiz on loan till the end of this Clausura season.
The new signings Israel Reyes and Nestor Araujo haven’t put in performances that are up to par. The duo needs to settle down as soon as possible to make sure Club America do not drop any other easy points.
Club Necaxa scored 19 goals in 17 games in the Apertura league phase. So far this season, the side has scored six goals in five games. Club Necaxa finished 12th in the league table last season and barely made it to the playoffs.
This time around, the fight for playoff spots will be more intense. Keeping that in mind, Club Necaxa’s goals-per-game average does not look good enough to nab a playoff spot this time around unless they improve it in the upcoming games.
At the same time, the goal concession rate of Club Necaxa is higher than their goal-scoring rate. The club is scoring 1.2 goals per game but conceding 1.6 goals conceded per game. A record that could deteriorate further in the next game.
The last time Club Necaxa won an away game in Liga MX was in August 2022 against Atletico de San Luis. After that, the club has gone eight away games without a win. Despite possessing a decent record at the Estadio Azteca against Club America, this fixture will not be an easy one.
There is a good chance of Club America’s winless away streak getting extended over the next three games as they face CF Monterrey and FC Juarez after the match against Club America. After that, they will visit Mazatlan FC, which would be an ideal place to end their streak.
However, Club Necaxa could take advantage of Club America’s defensive frailties and cause an upset. Riding on the club’s record at the venue and Club America’s recent form, this Club Necaxa side can pull off an upset, but it seems next to impossible.
Out of the 19 goals Club Necaxa scored in the Apertura 2022 season, six came via Milton Gimenez. The striker scored four and assisted two as he finished the season just behind leading goal scorer Facundo Batista.
This season, Batista is up and running with two goals that were scored from the spot, but Gimenez has yet to get off the mark. As Club Necaxa eagerly anticipate more goals, they cannot attain the desired target if one of their strikers is misfiring.
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● Teams: Club America vs Club Necaxa
● Location: Estadio Azteca
● Time: Saturday, February 11 at 6 pm ET
● How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
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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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