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Pachuca are the defending champions, and Club America led the league last season before getting knocked out in the semi-finals.
Club America are sitting in fifth place on the Liga MX table. They’ve drawn five games this season, over double what they managed last season.
Pachuca are sitting one place below Club America in sixth place on the Liga MX table.
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Pick: Draw. Both teams to score. (+290)
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This should be a cracking fixture between two of the best sides in the competition. Pachuca are the defending champions, and Club America led the league table last season before getting knocked out by Toluca in the Apertura semifinals.
However, neither team has played to their full potential this season. Club America have drawn five games, and Pachuca have already lost three matches. There’s only one point between the two sides, and this is the sort of game that could help reenergize the campaign of either side if it goes well.
Club America are the home side, but Pachuca won’t be awed by that. It’s hard to pick a favorite, which is why a draw might be the most likely result – there should also be a few goals in this game. It should be noted that Club America enjoy a great head-to-head record in this fixture – they’ve won 14, lost eight, and drawn six of the matches against Pachuca. Club America also won the last tie between the two sides quite comfortably.
Club America made light work of Pachuca when the two sides met last August. Club America won 3-0 on the day thanks to goals from Alejandro Zendajas, Jonathan Rodriguez, and Henry Martin. Pachuca didn’t help themselves on the day – Romario Ibarra was sent off in the 42nd minute after Zendajas had given Club America the lead in the 34th minute.
Rodriguez scored right after the half-time break, and the game was over by then. Pachuca had 51% of the possession and took 10 shots on the day, but it didn’t really matter. Club America never really felt threatened by Pachuca.
Henry Martin capped things off with a 75th-minute strike. We highly doubt Club America will have as comfortable a game this time. Pachuca have become Liga MX champions since that game and will want to remind everyone of that on a big stage like this.
Club America drew 2-2 to Atlas over the weekend – this was their fifth draw of the season. Jonathan Rodriguez’ strike gave them the lead in the 31st minute, and Henry Martin made it 2-0 within 40 minutes – it looked like this was going to be a comfortable evening for Club America, but Brian Lozana’s strike just before the half-time whistle changed the trajectory of the game.
Lozana scored another in the 68th minute to level the scores, and Atlas did well to hold onto the draw because Club America were knocking on the door right until the full-time whistle. Club America took 17 shots on the day, but only five found the target.
They also had 55% of the possession, but a few lapses in concentration were enough to prevent them from taking all three points. Pachuca are a much stronger side than Atlas and are capable of severely punishing Club America if they are at it for the 90 minutes.
Club America have been the most consistent side in the league for the last few years. Sitting in fifth place on the table isn’t good enough for a side with title ambitions, which is why this game is of great significance. Pachuca are currently holding the title that Club America would like to hold at the end of the season. If Club America get the better of Pachuca this season, it would set a marker down.
Drawing five out of your nine games is concerning – it shows that there’s a lack of killer instinct at the club. It’s why, despite putting in consistent displays, the Liga MX title has eluded them since 2018.
Manager Fernando Ortiz knows that he has a difficult job on his hand and that nothing other than silverware will do at a club of this size – the fans have little patience for things like process and growth.
Pachuca lost 2-0 to Club Tijuana on the weekend. The game was lost in the first half — Lisandro Lopez and Alexis Cancelo scored goals in quick succession (26’ and 30) to put Tijuana in the ascendency.
Tijuana were happy to sit back and hold onto the lead for the remainder of the game. The defending champions have conceded 14 goals already, one less than they managed in the last league season.
Pachuca had 59% of the possession, took 20 shots, and worked the keeper with five of them, but that was to be expected after they went two goals down so early in the game. They also lost to last season’s runners-up, Toluca, in the previous gameweek, which suggests that there are some larger issues in the team. They’re clearly not playing like the side that blitzed through the playoffs last season – they’ve got just one win from their last four matches.
A game against a strong side like Club America couldn’t have come at a worse time, but this is also a great chance for Pachuca to turn their season around. A win or a good performance against Club America could lift them for the rest of the season.
Pachuca have conceded 14 goals in nine games this season. They conceded just 15 in the league last season, which goes to show what the biggest issue has been this season. Their goalscoring record hasn’t been too bad – they’ve managed 18 goals, which is two goals a game. It wouldn’t be the worst idea to approach this game more defensively.
Club America are playing at home, so their fans will expect them to take the game to Pachuca. Pachuca have to absorb the pressure and hit them on the counter-attack. A draw wouldn’t be the worst result for Pachuca, but it will be seen as an underwhelming result for Club America, as they’re the home side.
Pachuca need to take advantage of this. They have the quality up front, with Luna and De la Rosa, to hurt Club America – they just need to bide their time because the chances will come.
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Teams: Club America vs Pachuca
Location: Estadio Azteca
Time: Saturday, March 4 at 7:05 pm ET onwards
How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
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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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