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Leon will host San Luis at the Estadio Leon on Saturday.
Leon are sitting in seventh place.
San Luis are languishing in 13th place with lots of work to do to resurrect their season
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Pick: Leon to win. (-164)
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Neither of these sides is in particularly good form heading into this tie. Leon have drawn their last two matches and had a man sent off in both ties, whereas San Luis have got one point in their previous four league matches.
Leon are sitting in 7th place in the Liga MX table; San Luis are in 13th place but just three points behind Leon. However, San Luis have played one more game.
Leon are playing at home, and it’s time they put on a show for their fans. They’ve got the better players and the better record in recent years, but tend to shoot themselves in the foot, so San Luis need to capitalize on any opportunity that comes their way. This will be a tight and low-scoring affair, but Leon will edge it.
San Luis got the better of Leon eight times, but Leon won the last match between these two sides in July 2022. It was Leon’s third victory in head-to-head clashes – the two sides have also played four draws.
Leon won 2-1 in the last meeting and were good value for the win. They took 15 shots to San Luis’ 10, and there wasn’t a big difference in the share of possession. Federico Martinez gave Leon the lead in the 35th minute. Leon took the lead into half-time and were comfortable for most of the second half before Byron Castillo knocked the ball into his own net in the 77th minute to level the scores.
Just when it looked like the teams would settle for a draw, Lucas di Yoro scored three minutes into second-half stoppage time to give Leon all three points. It wouldn’t be a surprise if this game also went down to the wire.
Leon’s indiscipline is becoming a real issue now. Adonis Frias was sent off in the 85th minute after Duvan Vergara’s penalty in the 84th minute leveled the scores. Leon weren’t particularly good in this game, but all they had to do was hold their nerve in the closing stages of the game.
They got the lead within 14 minutes, thanks to Lucas di Yoro. Monterrey had more of the possession and took 12 shots to Leon’s five, but only a few tested the keeper prior to the penalty. Leon handed the game to Monterrey after the red card and were ultimately quite lucky to get a point in the end.
Manager Nicolás Larcamón must get a hold of the club because this is unacceptable. It’d be ridiculous if a team received four red cards all season, but to receive four in just 10 games is beyond belief. If there’s no discipline on the pitch, it always goes back to the manager.
Leon are one of the giants of Mexican football. They’ve won the league eight times and are not playing like a team with that sort of legacy currently. The fans are starting to lose patience with the manager, and a bad result at home could turn things very toxic.
The seventh place in the table doesn’t look bad, but there isn’t a big difference in points between the teams just below them. San Luis will go level on points with Leon if they win, which shows that seventh place doesn’t tell the whole story. They were Apertura runners-up in 2021 but have declined drastically since that run. It doesn’t look like they’ll be able to recreate that form this season based on what’s happened so far this season.
San Luis lost 2-0 to Toluca on the weekend – this was San Luis’ third loss in four games. Jean Meneses got Toluca off to a great start with a strike in the 14th minute, and Carlos Gonzalez made it 2-0 in the 34th minute.
San Luis took 17 shots on the day and tested the Toluca keeper six times but it was to no avail. Toluca were happy to absorb the pressure after taking the lead, but San Luis unsettled them a couple of times. San Luis must take the positives from the game into the match against Leon. They could definitely get a point or more if they put in a similar display. Leon haven’t been in good nick recently, and this is a great chance for San Luis to break into the top 10.
San Luis haven’t broken into the top 10 since getting a promotion in 2019. The lack of progress can get frustrating even if expectations aren’t very high. San Luis can set a marker by winning the match on the weekend.
Leon are a far bigger team in terms of history, but they’re out of sorts currently. Putting in a significant performance away from home could change the trajectory of San Luis’ season. No one expects them to win this game, so they don’t have much to lose, either. Leon, on the other hand, will be under tremendous pressure to win this game – they’ll most likely play within themselves after finishing their fourth league game with 10 men last week.
San Luis have to start the game on the front foot – they need to rattle Leon, who look like they’ll crumble under the pressure. If they put in a similar display to last week, there’s no reason why they can’t leave the Estadio Leon with all three points.
San Luis, however, must keep an eye on their own disciplinary record. They’ve also had two sending-offs and can’t afford another one in this game. They need to compete till the final whistle. They’re sitting in 12th place currently, which isn’t too bad considering where they were a few years ago, but the end goal has to be the playoffs, and there might not be a better chance than this season to achieve that.
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Teams: Leon vs San Luis
Location: Estadio Leon
Time: Saturday, March 4 at 5:00 pm ET onwards
How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
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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