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There’ll be a new Liga MX champion this Sunday. Things are still in the balance, as Tigres and Guadalajara played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg. This was a bit of a surprise, considering both sides took the game to their opponents in the semifinals and were rewarded for the same. Guadalajara are playing the second leg at home, which has historically been considered an advantage, but the bookmakers have Tigres winning this tie and lifting the Liga MX championship.
There’s no doubt that Tigres’ first-leg performance has influenced the odds for this game, but the match still ended 0-0, and Guadalajara are playing at home in the second leg, so it’s a strange choice to have Tigres as clear favorites. Not to mention, Guadalajara finished nine points ahead of Tigres in the league.
Guadalajara have got incredibly valuable odds for this, so we suggest picking them for this fixture. If they win this match, they’ll lift their 13th league title and equal Club America’s record. If Tigres come out on top, it’ll be their eighth league title. It should be a cracking tie.
The two sides have faced each other 28 times, with Tigres winning 12, losing six, and drawing 10. However, Guadalajara have got a better recent record. They’ve won two of the last three fixtures. All three matches have been quite tight, and the second leg looks set to be the same.
Tigres will be quite disappointed with the result in the first leg. They did enough in this game to come out victorious. They took 14 shots to Guadalajara’s seven and had 68% of the possession in this game. The triumvirate of Sebastian Cordova, Andre-Pierre Gignac, and Luis Quinones caused problems all day but couldn’t really capitalize on the domination.
The game lacked quality in the final third, which will be a bit of a concern for the Liga MX organizers since this is the showpiece event. Both sides also struggled in build-up at times, with many of the chances for both sides coming from unforced errors. It wasn’t the best game, but it sets us up nicely for the second leg.
Tigres will feel like it was a missed opportunity, but they can’t wallow in their sorrow for too long. On the other hand, Guadalajara will be aware that they got a bit of a lucky break in this tie. It’s advantage Guadalajara as we head into the second leg.
Guadalajara weren’t great in the first leg, but they got the result they were looking for. Of course, winning would’ve been great, but a draw is a fantastic result based on how the match was played out. The first leg defined their season in many ways – they just find a way to get over the line.
Despite finishing third on the league table, they didn’t score as many goals as some of the teams below them, never mind the teams above them on the table. They also didn’t have the best defensive record, conceding 18 goals, but they’ve found a way to get results. This sort of strategy doesn’t usually work in the long run, but they’ve found a way to make it work this season.
Looking back at the first leg, they only took seven shots and had 32% of the possession, but they never seemed too concerned. Tigres took double the shots, but only one of those was on target. Guadalajara attempted to take the sting out of the game whenever possible – it was reminiscent of the sort of tactics used by legendary Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho in big cup finals.
They’re playing the second leg at home, so they’ll be expected to take the game to Tigres in the second leg. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re up to the task. They showed they can switch tactics in their semifinal legs against Club America, so there’s no reason why they can’t repeat the trick against Tigres.
Despite not playing up to par, Alexis Vega’s performance was a big plus. Guadalajara looked threatening every time he got on the ball. If they do more of the same on Sunday, they should get the job done.
Andre-Pierre Gignac has been Tigres’ star player and one of the faces of the Liga for over half a decade, so it’s strange to call him for criticism when his side’s playing in a final, but there’s no doubt that he’s struggled in recent weeks and in the last game.
He was getting easily provoked in the semifinals, which is not something you want to see from an experienced player. The leadership qualities haven’t been the biggest worry, though. The lack of ruthlessness in front of goal has been the bigger issue.
He had a great chance in the first leg to end his barren run when a ball fell into his path after Guadalajara center-back Briseno’s attempted clearance from a Quinones cross hit the crossbar. If Gignac got the same chance a few weeks back, you’d back him to smash the ball into the net, but he didn’t even seem alert to it, and his connection was poor.
Luckily for Tigres, Sebastian Cordova has turned up in the playoffs. The attacking playmaker has created many chances for the club and scored crucial goals in the playoff run. It also looks like he’s benefiting from defenders paying more attention to Gignac, who, regardless of form, is a significant presence in the opposition box.
It’ll be interesting to see if Tigres can play as well in the second leg. They enjoy having a greater share of the ball, which is always preferable to playing large periods without the ball. Guadalajara have won many games by playing ugly and getting under the skin of their opponents. Tigres can’t allow that to happen at a hostile Akron Stadium. The game will be as good as done if that’s the case.
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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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