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Club Leon vs Cruz Azul Prediction: Clash of Struggling Giants

Written by: Nikhil Kalro
Published February 21, 2024
8 min read
  • Club Leon ended their four-game winless streak in the Clausura 2024 season after a narrow win against Atlas FC last weekend 

  • Cruz Azul extended their winning streak in the Clausura 2024 season to five games after a stunning victory over Tigres UANL last weekend

  • The Apertura 2023 encounter between these two clubs was hosted at Estadio Azteca, and Cruz Azul took all three points with a narrow win

Club Leon vs. Cruz Azul Odds

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Game result Odds
Club Leon +145
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Draw +250
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Cruz Azul +165
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Club Leon vs. Cruz Azul Pick

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Cruz Azul players celebrate

Club Leon vs. Cruz Azul Predictions

Leon are struggling in the league after winning only two of the first seven games of the season. Approaching the midway point of the current Clausura campaign, the 2023 Champions Cup winners will have their eyes set on a low play-in spot. After beating Santos Laguna in the second round towards the end of January, Leon held Mazatlan to a draw before losing three consecutive games against Toluca, Pachuca, and Club America. They bounced back to winning ways last weekend after winning against Atlas in their own backyard.

The momentum Leon is hoping to build is what Cruz Azul has already built after its unexpected winning spree. After losing the first game of the new season and drawing the second, experts expected Cruz Azul to finish in the bottom half of the table again. 

However, the nine-time Liga MX champions displayed resilience as the club rose from the depths of the Mexican top division towards the summit. After beating Mazatlan, Tijuana, Queretaro, San Luis, and Tigres UANL on the bounce, Cruz Azul is running riot and looking for more wins.

While focusing on solving their problems, Leon must also think of a way to halt the Cruz Azul freight train. The tactics will be laid out accordingly, but the chances of them working out are a tad low. Hence, Cruz Azul has the advantage in this fixture. Playing on the road will be tricky, but the nine-time league champions can clinch all three points.

Previous Meetings

These two clubs have a lot of history in Liga MX and other competitions. Since 2010, Leon and Cruz Azul have faced each other 33 times. The latter has the better record with 15 wins, while the former has just seven. The remaining 11 games have ended in draws.

Angel Sepulveda scored the only goal of the match when these two teams collided at Estadio Azteca last season. Assisted by Juan Escobar, Sepulveda unleashed a fierce strike from outside the box and found the back of the net in the 16th minute, which gave Cruz Azul the victory.

The last time Leon hosted Cruz Azul in Liga MX was during the Clausura 2023 season, and the match ended in a goalless draw. The last time Leon beat Cruz Azul in the league was in the Apertura 2021 season. Ignacio Rivero’s own goal was the only goal of that match.

Club Leon Are Fighting For Scraps

After winning just two out of seven games in the league so far, Leon is occupying one of the low-ranked play-in spots. The club’s primary objective this season will be to clinch one of those spots.

The eight-time Liga MX champions cannot be ambitious and aim for one of the prized playoff spots this season. The target will be to pick up as many points as possible from weaker teams and play for a stalemate against stronger opponents like Cruz Azul.

Concern Rising In The Hosts’ Midfield

A strong midfielder controls the tempo in every game and connects the defensive third to the final third. To do that, a team requires smart and robust midfielders. Leon has Fidel Ambriz, Andres Guardado, Jose Rodriguez, and Jose Ramirez for that.

Unfortunately, the hosts will be without Guardado and Rodriguez in the match against Cruz Azul. The former is out until March with a hamstring injury, while the latter is out for a few weeks with a knee injury. 

Club Leon Need To Improve Home Form

In the Apertura 2023 season, Leon won five out of their nine home games and lost only one. After just three games this season, they have already lost two in their backyard.

Winning on the road is always tricky, but even if the team rectifies its home form, they can pick up valuable points to secure a play-in spot.

Cruz Azul Will Take One Step At A Time 

After registering five wins and losing ten, Cruz Azul finished 16th in the Apertura 2023 season, just two points clear of the bottom. Seven games into the Clausura 2024 season, they have already matched their win tally from last season.

It is a sudden and surprising recovery under the new management of Martin Anselmi – a coach who likes to win trophies. However, it could be too ambitious for the visitors to aim for the title. The focus will be on nabbing a top-four spot before eventually considering a title charge. 

Absence Of Primary Defender Could Make Defense Vulnerable

The stellar win over Tigres UANL came at a price for Cruz Azul. Their key defender, Willer Ditta, picked up two bookings in second-half stoppage time and got his marching orders.

The Colombian will miss the match against Leon and serve his suspension. Ditta has been a key figure in the Cruz Azul defense this season, and his absence might make the department shaky.

Talisman Needs To End His Goal Drought

Angel Sepulveda’s performance for Cruz Azul in his debut season with them was superb, as the former Queretaro striker scored nine goals in 14 appearances. However, he has scored only two goals this season in seven games.

The 33-year-old has fired blanks in the last three games and needs to end that run. Uriel Antuna can share the goal-scoring burden with Sepulveda. Meanwhile, Gabriel Fernandez, who has scored two goals this season, is out for a lengthy spell due to a knee injury.

How to watch Club Leon vs. Cruz Azul

  • Teams: Club Leon vs. Cruz Azul

  • Location: Estadio Leon (Nou Camp)

  • Time: Wednesday, February 21 at 10:00 pm ET

  • How to watch: Univision, Telemundo, Fox Sports, ESPN, Vix and Sling TV

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AUTHOR

Nikhil Kalro

681 Articles

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]

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