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Queretaro will be looking for their first win of the season as they host the Pumas UNAM in the second matchday of fixtures from the Liga MX. Queretaro started their season with a goalless draw on the road against Monterrey in a slow performance.
Pumas UNAM, on the other hand, began their season with aplomb, thrashing Toluca at home 5-0. It was a thoroughly dominant performance from the Pumas, who will be looking forward to a big season this time around in the Clausura phase.
From a betting standpoint, it seems like the Pumas have the best chance of winning, especially considering the manner in which they beat Toluca, a solid team, in their opening fixture. Back Pumas UNAM to win in 90 minutes, and keep their winning streak going.
In their opening fixture, Queretaro lacked discipline as well as offensive firepower. Still, their defense managed to stay compact enough to pull out a draw, which was a fantastic result considering how poorly they managed the ball in that game. Here is proof.
Queretaro had ball possession of just 38 percent, simply not good enough management of the ball. Their passing accuracy was also poor as they completed just 280 passes, at a low percentage of 67 accuracy. For some context, some teams in the Champions League complete 500 passes comfortably at an accuracy percentage of close to 90.
They will be happy with their defense though. Monterrey had a staggering 26 shots at goal but only 10 of those were on target. That is not a bad metric to suggest that this team knows how to keep a deep defensive line but can also ensure not too much room in the box.
They will certainly have to tighten up their defense in other areas, and pick up some offensive fluency in the final third in order to stand a chance against a team that moves the ball at incredible speeds across the phases of a soccer pitch.
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Pumas were not expected to start their season in the manner they did. While not many teams will be surprised with their overall output, Toluca were not as bad a team as the Pumas UNAM made them look, particularly in the final third.
Jose Rogerio Melo opened the scoring in the 31st minute of the game. Toluca did well to keep Pumas’ lead to one after a half but that spiralled out of control in the second half as Pumas found too much space, and they made the team pay for that sloppiness.
Eventually, Pumas aggregated a staggering 26 shots with 13 of those on target. An attempts to shots on target ratio of 50 percent is excellent, by any measure of comparison. That might continue even in this game especially against a team that does not move the ball quickly enough or transition rapidly across the phases.
It might be important to note that Pumas did not dominate the possession in that match. They managed to keep only 46 percent of the possession against Toluca butb they maintained their discipline well. They completed a total of 355 passes at an accuracy rate of 81 percent. While that is not sensational, it is higher than the norm in the Liga MX, which will certainly buoy the team moving forward as well.
Nexaca began their season with a defeat at the hands of Juarez in their opener 2-1. It was not the best game, which included a red card. Nexaca will have to step up their game and discipline because there are already teams with several differentiating factors.
Monterrey played out a goalless draw to open the new season with Queretaro in their first match of Clausura. Monterrey dominated the possession and even had several shots on goal but simply could not break down the deep line of Queretaro in that fixture.
It may make sense to chase the higher odds in this fixture considering how Nexaca ply their trade. Neither of these teams present a compelling enough case to back the win, which means the draw might be the best bet for this particular game.
In order to beat the bigwigs of the Liga MX, it is imperative that Nexaca keep their discipline. They were handicapped after the red card given to Luis Malagon in the 50th minute of their match against Juarez. With the score at 1-1, they were never able to recover after that red card, and that proved to be the difference in the end between the two teams.
Nexaca had 13 shots in that match, but only three of those were on target. That is not a bad tally considering there was a red card in that match but the team can ensure they make the keeper work a lot more. They will be pleased with their overall ball possession rate, which was 65 percent.
They even maintained an impressive passing accuracy rate of 80 percent after completing 469 passes. That will be pleasing to Nexaca because there was a high accuracy rate in a tough match. However, the team will have to find a way to be more clutch under duress in order to pick up the points they desire this season.
Expectedly, Monterrey were lacking some final offensive firepower. They put themselves in fantastic positions through that match against Queretaro but failed to find the final pass or improve the quality of the chances they created, which ended up insufficient in breaking down a resilient defense.
Still, there were plenty of promising signs for the team from that match, including the vigor with which the team moved forward into the final third. In total, the team managed 26 shots. Of those, 10 were on target, which is not a bad conversion rate.
Their other metrics were impressive as well. They had a ball possession rate of 62 percent against a team that were unrelenting, which is also impressive. They even completed 451 passes at a steady accuracy rate of 76 percent. Monterrey also had nine corners.
These are all numbers that indicate they dominated the match from the outset but were not able to break open a solid chance. Now, they will have to remain patient and keep pushing in order to get better chances, and create more goals.
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|Liga MX Information
|Queretaro vs Pumas UNAM, Nexaca vs Monterrey
|Friday, January 14 at 8.00 PM EST 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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