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Five games into the Clausura 2024 season, Club Necaxa are one of four teams that are yet to lose a game this season and are ranked fifth in the table
Deportivo Toluca bounced back from a narrow defeat at the end of last month with a stellar win over Leon last weekend and are currently in seventh place
When these two teams went toe-to-toe in the Apertura 2023 season, Toluca hosted and dominated the game but had to settle for a point after a goalless draw
Odds taken from BetMGM Sportsbook. Bet $5, get $158 in Bonus Bets with our code WSNMGM.
Our Pick: Deportivo Toluca to win.
After finishing the Apertura 2023 season at the bottom of the table, Necaxa have made a stellar start in the current Clausura campaign. The new season started with two back-to-back wins over Atlas FC and Puebla. In the third match, Necaxa held defending champions Club America to a goalless draw at home before holding Pumas UNAM to a 2-2 draw on the road. A last-gasp equalizer against FC Juarez saved their unbeaten streak last weekend.
A late equalizer came for Toluca as well, but that was in their season opener against Queretaro FC. That was followed by a commanding 4-1 win over Mazatlan FC, after which Toluca dropped a couple of points against Puebla. The club tasted defeat for the first time this season at Estadio Akron, where they lost against Chivas Guadalajara in a five-goal thriller. Toluca quickly bounced back, and they did it with aplomb after smashing four past Club Leon last weekend.
Like last season, the bookmakers have backed Toluca as the favorites in this encounter. The same happened last season, but the game ended in a draw. This time, Necaxa are in better form, while Toluca are unpredictable. However, Toluca seem to have the upper hand in the upcoming encounter and will nick it.
Since 2010, these two clubs have clashed 17 times in Liga MX. The draws have dominated the fixture, as seven games have ended in a stalemate. Apart from that, Toluca have won six matches, while Necaxa have four victories in their bag.
The seventh draw of this encounter came last season when these two clubs locked horns at Estadio Nemesio Diez. The hosts dominated the game with 70% ball possession, but Necaxa’s five-man defensive line kept the Toluca attackers at bay, and the match ended in a goalless draw.
The last time Necaxa hosted Toluca was in the Apertura 2022 season, and it did not end well for the hosts that evening. Toluca were two goals up inside the half-hour mark before Edgar Mendez failed to pull one back for the hosts from the penalty spot.
Fabricio Formiliano did manage to halve the advantage five minutes later. But, a Camilo penalty in the 69th minute restored the two-goal cushion for Toluca, and the scoreline remained unchanged till the full-time whistle.
Necaxa’s unbeaten streak in Liga MX started at the end of last season when the club beat Mazatlan 4-0 and then held Atlas FC to a goalless draw. The new season started against Atlas FC, and Necaxa beat them 2-1 on this occasion.
Mendez’s 96th-minute equalizer against FC Juarez in the last match helped Necaxa extend their unbeaten streak to seven games. The primary objective will be to keep this run alive at any cost and extend the run to eight games against a tricky Toluca side.
While aiming for a positive result in the next match, Necaxa will also focus on perking up their home form. In the Apertura 2023 season, they won only two out of eight home games.
A win against Toluca will see the hosts match last season’s home win tally. Hence, coach Eduardo Fentanes will be desperate to clinch a win in the next match.
Necaxa spruced up their attack by signing Jose Paradela on loan from River Plate in January. The winger has made three appearances so far and scored twice.
The Argentine debuted as a substitute against Club America, scored on his first start against Pumas UNAM, and nabbed another goal against FC Juarez in the last match. So far, he is solving Necaxa’s problems in the final third.
Toluca will be desperate to reinstate themselves as title contenders in Liga MX again. However, the on-pitch performances have been inconsistent, which has seen the ten-time league champions drop several points.
This season, Renato Paiva’s men are showcasing the same pattern. Toluca were favorites to win the matches against Queretaro and Puebla, but both games ended in draws. The club has to work on consistency and stop dropping valuable points to be among the top guns of Liga MX.
Toluca have a perfect record at home so far. They have won both their home games this season, scored eight goals, and conceded just two.
The concern lies on the road, as the club is still winless in three games this season. Toluca have won just one out of their last 11 away games in the league.
In January, Toluca secured the signing of Federico Pereira from the Uruguayan club Liverpool FC. Since then, the center-back has been a menace for attackers and defenders.
The 23-year-old has been rock solid in defense and is a constant threat in attack via set pieces. Pereira has already scored two goals and will aim to add more against Necaxa.
Teams: Club Necaxa vs. Deportivo Toluca
Location: Estadio Victoria
Time: Saturday, February 10 at 6:00 pm ET
How to Watch: Univision, Telemundo, Fox Sports, ESPN, Vix and Sling TV
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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