Monterrey vs Puebla Prediction, Odds & Picks
- After narrowly qualifying for the playoffs, Puebla looks like the most feeble team in the running for a Liga MX title
- Monterrey will be able to count on a number of top-class players that should stifle Puebla
- With a chip on his shoulder after a poor start to 2020, Monterrey manager Antonio “Turco” Mohamed should be motivated to clinch a win
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Monterrey vs Puebla Odds
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Monterrey vs Puebla Predictions and Picks
Puebla doesn’t stand a chance here. Narrowly sneaking into the Liga MX playoffs as the 12th and final seed, Los Camoteros are undeniably the least intimidating club to have qualified for the postseason.
Monterrey is still a sleeping giant of sorts — maybe even a half-awake one — and is superior to Puebla in nearly every aspect imaginable. In essence, this is a battle between a prodigious attack and a questionable defense, and unfortunately for Puebla, they are the ones who need to be questioned.
Monterrey for the win (-176)
How to Watch Monterrey vs Puebla
|Monterrey vs Puebla Information|
|What||Monterrey vs Puebla|
|Where||Estadio BBVA Bancomer (Monterrey, Mexico)|
|When||Sunday, November 22nd at 10:00 PM ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
Monterrey will be kicking themselves for not booking a place in the top four of the regular season standings. As the current title-holders, Los Rayados could have already earned an invitation to next week’s quarterfinals if they had finished just one spot ahead in the league table. In the end, it was just a slight difference in their goal differential that not only knocked them down to fifth but also meant that they would need to take part in this weekend’s round of wild card matches.
On the other end of the spectrum, Puebla narrowly snuck into the playoff picture after earning a 1-0 win in their final match of the regular season. Buoyed by a highly-defensive approach that has been hit or miss over the last few months, Puebla’s 20 points were just enough to push them into the wild card scenario.
Anything can happen in Liga MX’s playoffs — that is, anything but perhaps Puebla beating Monterrey.
In Spite Of Their Place In The Playoffs, Puebla Are Extremely Vulnerable
Where to begin with what could go wrong for Puebla?
Let’s start with their defense. Based on xGA (expected goals against), Puebla was ranked 17 out of 18 teams when it came to their 27.18 tally. Although other underperforming teams proved to allow more goals, that number remains incredibly worrisome as they head into the playoffs.
As bad as that is for their defense, their attack is even more problematic. With an xG (expected goals) total of 16.9, Puebla finished the regular season with the worst chance creation numbers in the league. While it’s fair to bring up their 22 goals scored in 17 games, realistically speaking, the stats indicate that they likely won’t be able to keep that pace going forward.
To put it lightly, Puebla are incredibly lucky to be in the playoffs. Unless if something miraculously drastic happens at the last minute, all signs point to Puebla struggling with both their defensive and attacking approaches.
Monterrey Have A Wealth Of Talent At Their Disposal
Already accustomed to winning a championship. Monterrey will be able to count on experienced leaders who could single-handedly gain a win.
In the frontline, Rogelio Funes Mori has been impressive with the six goals and three assists he has accumulated this season. Supporting him is an all-star cast of players such as Vincent Janssen, Jesus Gallardo, Nicolas Sanchez, Miguel Layun, Dorlan Pabon, Carlos Rodriguez, and countless others.
And therein lies the big difference between Monterrey and Puebla. Points wins, and statistics aside, Monterrey has a deep well of elite individuals who are emblematic of what it means to play at the very top level of Liga MX. Puebla should still be praised for qualifying for the playoffs, but man-for-man, they won’t be able to keep up this Sunday with Monterrey.
Monterrey Manager Antonio “Turco” Mohamed Has Something To Prove
Despite the fact that Mohamed has a Liga MX championship and two Copa MX titles to his name with Monterrey, one might be surprised at the number of fans and media who remain skeptical about him.
After going through 10 games without a win in the now-canceled 2020 Clausura tournament earlier this year, alarm bells began to ring about the manager and his squad who never seemed to shake off a championship hangover from late 2019. This season, #FueraTurco (essentially “#TurcoOut”) would occasionally trend on Twitter during their nine games in which they failed to clinch a win.
Now in the playoffs, Mohamed can silence all of his doubters with a strong start to Monterrey’s postseason.
And if there’s one thing that Mohamed has shown with his three trophies since 2017, it’s that he knows how to win.
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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]