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Even with just 14 points in 12 Liga MX games this season, Mazatlan should consider themselves fortunate.
Often carried by lucky goals or unexpected failures from opposition, they’ve punched above their weight for far too long now.
At home, they’ll once again suffer — especially against a resurgent Atlas.
The visitors have impressed in the last couple of months, and if trends continue, they should be heading towards three more points on Friday night.
At the Estadio Mazatlan, pick Atlas for the win. (+125)
Following a slight mid-season drop in the current 2021 Apertura, Atlas are now one of the best sides in Mexico’s top flight.
They’ve won four out of their last five games, and in their last eight, they only have one single defeat.
Carried by manager Diego Cocca’s approach that has prioritized an incredibly solid backline, Atlas have now only allowed five goals so far this season.
It’s an incredible feat, and when considering how many problems Mazatlan have run into, Atlas should be well on their way towards another victory.
It’s not exactly a good sign when a 3W-5D-4L record makes it appear as though you’re overperforming.
According to Wyscout statistics, Mazatlan have the worst xG (expected goals) rating in Liga MX, and also the worst xGA (expected goals against) tally as well.
Boosted by the occasional opportunity from striker Camilo Sanvezzo, Mazatlan are truly lucky to not be sitting dead last in the league table right now.
The odds will continue to swing against Mazatlan, and with little progress to show, it’s unlikely they’ll be much of a threat to their next opponents.
Although they don’t always start alongside each other, there’s something really exciting about the new setup this season for Atlas that features Julio Furch and Julian Quiñones.
While Furch brings physicality and a knack for hold-up play, Quiñones adds in real danger to the attack with his clever passing and daring runs.
They’re a handful to deal with, and in Atlas’ last five matches, the two have a combined total of five goals and three assists.
Keep an eye on the two members of the frontline.
After a trip down to South America for Chile’s October round of World Cup qualifiers, Mazatlan defender Nicolas Diaz might not be at 100% for Mazatlan.
In fact, he might not even be in the country by Friday.
At time of writing, Chile have yet to play in Thursday’s WCQ against Venezuela, and barring an immediate trip back home (and somehow rest), Diaz shouldn’t be expected to play for Mazatlan.
What this means is that they’ll now be missing a figure who has featured in every Mazatlan game this season as either a left-back or left center-back.
Not only as one of the team’s leading passers and tacklers, Diaz has also stepped up in the final third with a goal and assist for Mazatlan this season.
|Mazatlan vs Atlas Information|
|Teams||Mazatlan vs Atlas|
|Location||Estadio Mazatlan (Mazatlan, Mexico)|
|Time||Friday, October 15th at 7:00 pm PT/10:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||TUDN|
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]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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