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Chasing a record-extending 14th Liga MX title this Apertura season, Club America have not started the season with authority. After losing against rivals Chivas Guadalajara in the playoff semifinals last season, the Aguilas started the new Apertura campaign with a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home against FC Juarez. The team bounced back with a 3-0 win against Puebla in the second match of the season before dropping a couple of points against Atlas earlier this week. Club America also eyed the 2023 Leagues Cup but exited the tournament in the Round of 16.
Necaxa finished 17th in the last Clausura season after winning just three out of 17 games. The turbulence has still not ended for the team, as they are still looking for their first win of the Apertura campaign. Necaxa have played four games in the league so far, and they have drawn two and lost the other two. Their season started with back-to-back stalemates with Toluca and Club Tijuana. Then they lost to Clausura 2022-23 runners-up Chivas Guadalajara and 2022-23 Clausura winners Tigres UANL. Necaxa were eliminated from the 2023 Leagues Cup in the group stage.
Necaxa defeating Club America would cause a sensational upset, but it is extremely difficult for the visitors to pull that off. The clear advantage lies with Club America in this fixture, which is why extremely strong odds back the side.
In Liga MX, these two clubs have met on 18 occasions. Club America have not exactly dominated this tie, but have the slightly better head-to-head record with seven wins to their name. Necaxa have won five, and six games have ended in draws.
Club America edged past Necaxa in the previous Clausura season. The hosts were in possession of a comfortable two-goal lead given to them by Diego Valdes and Henry Martin. The clean sheet was intact till the 78th minute when Maximiliano Silvera pulled one back for the visitors.
In the last six matches between the two sides, Club America have won five, and only one game has ended in a stalemate. Necaxa’s last win against the 13-time Liga MX champions came over three years ago, in the 2020 Clausura season.
Club America have hosted Necaxa nine times, of which the hosts have won five times, and the visitors have nabbed a win thrice. Only one game has ended in a draw at the Estadio Azteca. Necaxa have lost their last three games at the dreaded venue.
Despite being the most successful team in Mexico’s top-division club football league, Club America have not won the Liga MX title since their Apertura 2018-19 glory. The team has finished first or second in the league phase but has failed to maintain composure in the playoffs.
The former champions have made a shaky start again, as they have experienced all three outcomes of a game in the opening three matches of the Apertura season. Coach Andre Jardine will be itching to eliminate the inconsistency that ails his club and get back to winning ways.
Club America also have to put the disappointing Leagues Cup outing behind them. They were one of the top favorites to win the trophy but were eliminated right before the quarterfinals in a dramatic penalty shootout against Nashville SC in the Round of 16.
As Club America deals with the inconsistency problem, there is more to worry about in the defensive department for the Aguilas. Sebastian Caceres is a doubt ahead of the game against Necaxa as he is recovering from a nose injury.
To make matters worse, his defensive partner, Nestor Araujo, could also miss the match due to a knee injury. Club America will be vulnerable at the back without two of their strongest center-backs. 23-year-old Israel Reyes and 21-year-old Emilio Lara are expected to replace the seasoned defenders.
After an excellent stint with Atlas since 2021, Julian Quinones caught the eyes of the Club America scouts. This season, the 13-time Liga MX champions have secured the services of the Colombian striker, who has already scored one and assisted two in three league games.
However, the fans will be eager to see their veteran striker Henry Martin back on the pitch. The 30-year-old is currently sidelined due to a calf injury and is closing in on the 100-goal milestone for Club America.
The start of the Apertura season has matched the end of the previous Clausura season for Necaxa. Four games into the new campaign, the club is still looking for the first win of the season and have picked up only two points so far.
The 2023 Leagues Cup was a glorious opportunity for the three-time Liga MX champions to improve their form and gain some traction for the Apertura season. However, Necaxa lost both their group-stage games, conceded seven goals, and were eliminated before the knockouts.
Necaxa had to resume their Apertura campaign against the defending Liga MX champions Tigres UANL at home. As expected, the visitors blanked Necaxa 3-0, extending the host’s horrendous winless run across all competitions.
Upsets in football cannot be anticipated and are often unpredictable. However, predicting another loss for Necaxa against Club America may be easy because of their recent form. In the last 11 games across all competitions, Necaxa have drawn four and lost seven games.
In the last 20 games, Necaxa have only won two matches. Their last win came against fellow strugglers, Mazatlan FC, who finished at the bottom of the table in the Clausura season. That win came in the middle of March. Since then, Necaxa have played 11 games and have won none.
When the current squad is misfiring, clubs are often extremely active in the transfer market. Necaxa may not be a lucrative destination for players because of the club’s recent performances, but despite that, the former Liga MX champions have secured two promising loan deals.
Necaxa have signed Samu and Jorge Rodriguez from Toluca on loan till the end of the season. The former debuted on the flank as a substitute against Tigres UANL. Meanwhile, the latter has made two appearances as a left-back in the second and third games of the season.
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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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