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Leon vs Cruz Azul: Leon Won’t Want to Slow Down the Forward Momentum

Written by: Nikhil Kalro
Published April 5, 2023
11 min read
  • Leon will host Cruz Azul at the Estadio Leon on Saturday. Leon are sitting comfortably in third place on the Liga MX table, whereas Cruz Azul are in eighth place and four points clear of ninth-placed Puebla. 

  • Leon drew Club America 2-2 in their last league outing. They showed a lot of spirit in the game and have a big CONCACAF Champions League match against Viollete in midweek. 

  • Cruz Azul beat defending Liga MX champions Pachuca 2-0 in their last league match; this was one of their most impressive results of the season. 

Leon VS Cruz Azul Odds

Odds taken from Bet365.

Game result

Odds

Leon  

+115

 

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Draw

+250

 

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Cruz Azul

+220

 

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Leon vs Cruz Azul Pick

Pick:  Draw. (+250)

Leon vs Cruz Azul Prediction

Leon vs Cruz Azul Predictions

How this game plays out will depend quite a bit on Leon’s approach. Leon have a crucial first-leg quarter-final tie in the CONCACAF Champions League against Violette in midweek, which will almost certainly be the top priority this week. 

They’re almost certainly going to make the Liga MX playoffs, so there isn’t much riding on this match against Cruz Azul. There is a good chance they’ll rest some important players for the tie. On the other hand, Cruz Azul have a lot to play for. A win will get them closer to cementing their playoff place for the season. 

Cruz Azul have a four-point lead over ninth-placed Puebla. This is a healthy lead with just five games left in the league season, but they don’t want to be dropping points. A loss could undo all the good work in recent weeks. 

Leon won’t want to slow down the forward momentum, either. They’ll be playing at home as well, which always helps. We think Leon will not play their best team but have enough not to lose the game. This game has all the makings of a draw. Both sides should be content with a point. 

 Previous Meetings

Cruz Azul have the upper hand in this match as far as head-to-head records are concerned. They’ve won 12, lost six, and drawn nine of their 27 games against Leon. Cruz Azul have also won the last three matches between the two sides – all of which were won by a single-goal margin. 

 The two sides last met in October 2022. Cruz Azul won 1-0 on the day and were well worth the three points. Ignacio Rivero’s 72nd-minute strike made the difference. Cruz Azul had just 40% of the possession but always looked the more likely to score. 

 They took 19 shots, with eight finding the target. In contrast, Leon hit just one shot on target for all their possession. Leon are a much stronger side compared to last season, but they’ll be wary of Cruz Azul’s recent and overall record.   

Leon Impress in 2-2 Draw Against Club America

Leon left it late against Club America, but there was no doubt they deserved a point, at least, in their 2-2 draw over the weekend. Joel Campbell’s strike four minutes into the 90 gave Leon a valuable point to keep them level on points with second-placed Toluca on the Liga MX table. 

 Alfonso Alvarado gave Leon the lead just before the half-time whistle, but five minutes of madness was all it took for Club America to go up 2-1. Diego Valdes Contreras and Henry Martin found the back of the net in quick succession (63’ and 68’) to remind Leon of Club America’s quality. Leon, of course, equalized in the end, and it was no less than they deserved. 

They took 21 shots compared to Club America’s nine, which is even more impressive when you consider they were the away side. 

 Leon Have Been in Excellent Form Recently 

Leon’s 4-1 win against Santos Laguna seems to have shifted something. There was a lot of uncertainty around the team before the tie; fans and experts weren’t sure their performances merited a high league standing, but that’s changed in the last few weeks. 

The win against Santos Laguna was followed by a comfortable win against Mazatlan and the draw against Club America. Club America have been the most consistent league side for the last half-decade, and Leon blew them out of the park over the weekend. They didn’t get the three points, but the performance was incredibly impressive; it’ll give them a lot of belief for the rest of the season. 

Early Goal Helps Cruz Azul Get All Three Points Against Pachuca

Cruz Azul had one of their biggest results of the season last week, with a 2-0 win over defending champions Pachuca. Carlos Rotondi’s ninth-minute goal gave Cruz Azul the perfect start. They went into the second half with a 1-0 despite facing a lot of pressure from Pachuca. 

Rodrigo Huescas made it 2-0 in the 67th minute, which was enough to earn them all three points. Cruz Azul took just nine shots to Pachuca’s 22 and had just 40% possession, but this doesn’t consider that the early goal allowed them to take their foot off the gas. 

Cruz Azul were also the away side, so they were never likely to possess a lot of the ball. It was a clinical display and just the sort of performance they’ll have to repeat if they want to go deep into the playoffs. 

Cruz Azul Have to Leave the Estadio Leon with Something 

The win against Pachuca will fill the club with optimism, but Cruz Azul still have a lot to do to cement their spot in the playoff. They are four points ahead of ninth-placed Puebla, but a loss on the weekend will put them in jeopardy once again. 

Leon are the favorites heading into this tie, but they might not play their strongest side on the weekend. Cruz Azul have to take advantage of this. Even a draw will suffice because there aren’t many games left in the league season. 

 They must head into this game with a similar approach to the Pachuca game – try to get a foot in the game in the early minutes and nick a goal before holding on to the lead. The longer the game goes on, the harder it’ll be to get a result. It’s really important to start the match well. 

 Cruz Azul are on a great run currently; they’re unbeaten in their last four matches of the season. One loss can be very damaging towards the end of the season, and they need to avoid this at all costs. 

 

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How to Watch Leon vs Cruz Azul

  • Teams: Leon vs Cruz Azul

  • Location: Estadio Leon

  • Time: Saturday, April 8 at 5:00 pm ET onwards

  • How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo, and Fox Deportes

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AUTHOR

Nikhil Kalro

660 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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