Cruz Azul vs Pumas Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks

Cruz Azul vs Pumas

  • In the first round of the playoffs, Cruz Azul and Pumas had a strange shortage of good quality chance creation
  • Pumas should soon be able to count on one of the top players of the Liga MX season, goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera
  • In net, Cruz Azul could also make an impact through the likes of veteran goalkeeper Jesus “Chuy” Corona

New Users Only. Min. $5 Deposit. Eligibility restrictions apply. See DraftKings.com for details.

  • tick mark20K public contests per day
  • tick markPlay against friends privately
  • tick markWin even if you don't finish 1st

New Users Only. Min. $5 Deposit. Eligibility restrictions apply. See DraftKings.com for details.

21+ | T&Cs apply

  • tick markFree play options
  • tick markSpecial contests for newbies

21+ | T&Cs apply

21+ | T&Cs apply

  • tick markUse bonus code WSN50
  • tick mark2nd half contests
  • tick markBeginner friendly

21+ | T&Cs apply

Cruz Azul vs Pumas Odds

TeamMatch Winner
Cruz Azul-122
BET NOW
Tie+240
BET NOW
Pumas+310
BET NOW

 

Odds from BetRivers. Get up to a $250 sign-up bonus at BetRivers today: CO, PA, IN. Or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.

Cruz Azul vs Pumas Predictions and Picks

There’s little between these Mexico City giants. With a spot in Liga MX’s championship series on the line, this week’s first of two semifinal legs should do plenty to highlight any potential disparities that could give one side an advantage over the other.

That said, this first game on Thursday should likely end in a stalemate. While they should each be praised for their defensive efforts, both teams should also be criticized for their lack of chance creation in the final third — especially in the previous quarterfinal stage.

This will be a close one.

Pick:

The tie (+240)

How to Watch Cruz Azul vs Pumas

Cruz Azul vs Pumas Information
WhatCruz Azul vs Pumas
WhereEstadio Azteca
WhenThursday, December 3th at 10:00 PM ET
How to WatchTUDN

When looking at the final standings from the Liga MX regular season, it makes obvious sense as to why Cruz Azul and Pumas now find themselves within the final four.

Sliding in at 4th place, Cruz Azul have routinely been fun to watch over the last few months. Carried by Jonathan Rodriguez — the 2020 Apertura leading goalscorer — Los Cementeros have made a name for themselves as a high-flying and talented team that know how to shut down dangerous attacking players when needed.

Pumas, heading into the semis at 2nd place, have undeniably been one of the top teams in Liga MX. Headlined by a threatening attacking duo of Carlos Gonzalez and Juan Dinenno, and supported by a veteran goalkeeper like Alfredo Talavera, Pumas have rarely struggled with keeping pace with any opponent. Although Talavera recently suffered an injury (and should be set to return this week), backup Julio Gonzalez has had little-to-no issues with stepping in.

Looking ahead, it’s safe to assume that they could cancel each other out in their first semifinal match of the week.

Attacking Numbers Leave Much To Be Desired

It would be a stretch to say that Pumas and Cruz Azul have so far played breath-taking and exciting soccer in the playoffs this season.

After two matches in the quarterfinals and 180+ minutes of play, Pumas escaped their latest playoff series with a narrow 1-0 aggregate win. Through an average xG (expected goals) rating of just 0.68 over those two matches, it’s obvious that Pumas didn’t take many risks and felt comfortable with allowing their opponents, Pachuca, to take control of the game.

Cruz Azul employed somewhat of a similar strategy. Although they eventually defeated Tigres in the quarterfinals through a 3-2 aggregate win, their average xG over their two matches was a lowly 0.54. Considering the fact that they have a wealth of skilled players, it’s almost confusing to see them truly lack quality opportunities.

But as with Pumas, it worked for Cruz Azul.

And with both looking hesitant to take any chances, expect both to be happy to keep this a low-scoring affair.

We Shouldn’t Overlook The Return Of Talavera

Let’s say Cruz Azul recognizes the significance of hosting the first leg. With the historic Estadio Azteca as their backdrop, one could make the argument that they will be the ones who push forward and attempt to dictate the pace of the game.

That’s where Talavera steps in.

If reports are true, the 38-year-old should be ready and fit to take his place in net again after recovering from an injury. According to match analysis company wyscout, no Liga MX goalkeeper has prevented more goals this season than Talavera. For goalkeepers with 10+ starts, he also leads the league when it comes to saves per 90 minutes.

And if he isn’t fit? As mentioned earlier, Gonzalez has been an incredible back-up as well. Let’s not forget that he was starting in net for Pumas when they defeated Cruz Azul 2-1 last month either.

Cruz Azul Have An Extremely Reliable Goalkeeper As Well

We need to give credit where credit is due, and if we’re discussing the best goalkeepers in Liga MX, then Cruz Azul’s Jesus “Chuy” Corona is also worth a mention.

Known for his incredible reflexes, Corona is one of the main reasons why his team has only allowed 18 goals in their last 19 games. As a vocal leader who is no stranger to tense playoff battles, expect Corona to also potentially silence whatever Pumas throws at him in the attack.

New Users Only. Min. $5 Deposit. Eligibility restrictions apply. See DraftKings.com for details.

  • tick mark20K public contests per day
  • tick markPlay against friends privately
  • tick markWin even if you don't finish 1st

New Users Only. Min. $5 Deposit. Eligibility restrictions apply. See DraftKings.com for details.

21+ | T&Cs apply

  • tick markFree play options
  • tick markSpecial contests for newbies

21+ | T&Cs apply

21+ | T&Cs apply

  • tick markUse bonus code WSN50
  • tick mark2nd half contests
  • tick markBeginner friendly

21+ | T&Cs apply

More Liga MX Predictions & Odds

Monterrey vs Club America Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks
Monterrey vs Club America Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks
In what will be the must-watch Liga MX game of Week 2, there will be very little separating Monterrey and Club America.
News iconJanuary 16
Author iconCesar Hernandez
Chivas vs Toluca Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks
Chivas vs Toluca Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks
After failing to clinch a victory in their start to the Liga MX season, Chivas should have no issues earning three points against Toluca this weekend.
News iconJanuary 16
Author iconCesar Hernandez
Club America vs San Luis Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks
Club America vs San Luis Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks
In what could turn out to be a one-sided game, expect Club America to painlessly brush off San Luis this Liga MX weekend.
News iconJanuary 9
Author iconCesar Hernandez

Cesar Hernandez

Expert on Soccer

Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast.



Email: [email protected]