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Club Leon finished with nine men in their previous match that ended in a goalless draw against Toluca
CF Pachuca clinched their third win in four games this season after beating Necaxa 2-1 last week
An 87th-minute Israel Luna goal handed CF Pachuca a 1-0 win over Club Leon in the reverse fixture during Apertura 2022
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The hosts have played three games so far. They won the opening game of the season against Necaxa and then lost against Pumas UNAM in the second. Last week, in their third encounter of the season, they somehow managed to clinch a point after finishing with nine men against Toluca.
In contrast, CF Pachuca’s recent form has been quite balanced. Out of the four games they have played this Clausura season, three of them have ended with wins for CF Pachuca. The side have already scored 12 goals in these four games.
Apart from the inconsistency in recent form, Club Leon will have to worry about their players who are injured and suspended for this game. CF Pachuca have no such concerns and the momentum is with them, making the Apertura 2022 champions the clear favorites to win this tie.
The two sides have met 25 times in Liga MX. Club Leon have won seven games, while CF Pachuca have won eleven. The other seven games have ended in draws. The reverse fixture was decided by a late goal scored by Israel Luna in the 87th minute as CF Pachuca waltzed away with a win.
However, a little over a year ago, in the last Clausura season, Club Leon beat CF Pachuca 2-1 at the Estadio Leon. Interestingly, CF Pachuca have not won at this venue in their last five attempts. They have lost four and drawn one. Their last win at the Estadio Leon against Club Leon came in the Clausura season of 2017 when CF Pachuca defeated Club Leon 4-2.
The Clausura 2023 campaign has gotten off to a shaky start for Club Leon with a win, loss, and draw in three games so far. However, the side has two positive aspects to look at before hosting CF Pachuca in the next game.
Out of the 25 Liga MX meetings, 12 have come at the Estadio Leon. Both sides have four games each and the remaining four have ended in draws. However, all four wins for Club Leon have come in the last five meetings with CF Pachuca at the Estadio Leon.
After a resilient display against Toluca in the last game, Club Leon will be eager to extend this unbeaten streak against CF Pachuca at home to six games. In addition to that, Club Leon are also unbeaten in their last five home games in Liga MX.
Despite being reduced to nine men in the last game, Club Leon held on to nab a point against Apertura 2022 runners-up Toluca. They were down to ten men after 37 minutes when their striker Lucas Di Yorio was shown a straight red.
Things went from bad to worse in the second half when defender Paul Bellon received his marching orders in the 63rd minute, leaving Club Leon two players short with half an hour still to go in a game that was dominated by Toluca.
The hosts attempted 30 shots while Club Leon could only muster seven. Toluca played over 500 accurate passes in the game, while Club Leon failed to touch the 150-mark. Despite that, Club Leon walked away from the Estadio Nemesio Diez with a crucial point.
Club Leon will take the pitch with eleven players against CF Pachuca, but a fair bit of reshuffling will be required in a squad that has been stunted by injuries and now suspensions. Di Yorio and Bellon will be unavailable as they serve their respective suspensions.
On the injury front, defender Adonis Frias is doubtful for the upcoming game. Right-backs Byron Castillo and Jose David Ramierez picked up injuries in December and are yet to return to action as Club Leon’s defensive woes pile up.
CF Pachuca will give it their all for a league double this season. After narrowly missing out on the Clausura title last season, the team bounced back well and clinched the Apertura 2022 crown and will be hungry for a double in this Clausura 2023 season.
All results, barring one, have reflected this intention of a side that was prolific in the Apertura playoffs. The Apertura 2022 champions have only been on the road for one game so far this season and have suffered a 4-1 defeat in that fixture against Tigres UANL.
CF Pachuca will definitely try to work on their away form this season after winning just three out of eight away games in the league phase of the Apertura 2022 campaign. The side picked out 12 out of 24 points away from home last season.
CF Pachuca finished the league phase last season with an average of 1.6 goals per match. However, in the playoffs they scored 16 goals in six matches, averaging 2.6 goals per match. This season, they have 12 goals in four games, scoring an average of three goals per game.
The Apertura 2022 champions will be itching to add more to this tally to maintain this impressive average. Last season’s top scorer, Nicolas Ibanez has already scored two goals in two games this season.
Javier Lopez is also in hot form after scoring three goals in four games. The creativity is coming from midfield as Luis Chavez has been instrumental this season so far. The midfielder has provided three assists and scored one goal in four games.
CF Pachuca kept eight clean sheets in the Apertura 2022 league phase. In the playoffs, they only managed one in six, and that pattern has followed them into the Clausura 2023 season. CF Pachuca have not kept a single clean sheet so far this season.
The streak without a shutout stands at six games and could extend to seven if they concede again against Club Leon. However, coach Guillermo Almada will ask more of his defenders Jose Castillo and Gustavo Cabral in the next match to secure the season’s first clean sheet.
Teams: Club Leon vs CF Pachuca
Location: Estadio Leon
Time: Saturday, February 4 at 6 pm ET onwards
How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
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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