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Since they were crowned champions of Apertura 2022, Pachuca have experienced a massive slump in form. Unfortunately for the club, that poor form has carried on into the current Apertura season as well. Pachuca started their season with two draws, sandwiching a 4-0 thumping against Club Leon. The top-seeded Mexican side gained direct entry into the 2023 Leagues Cup but were eliminated in the first round. As the Apertura season resumed, another draw extended their winless streak to seven games across all competitions. However, they laid that run to rest with a narrow 1-0 win against Cruz Azul in the last game.
For San Luis, the start of the new campaign was a roller coaster ride. They started with a draw against CF Monterrey before conceding their first defeat against Chivas Guadalajara. They nabbed the season’s first win against Queretaro just before the break. The 2023 Leagues Cup voyage was disappointing and short, as back-to-back defeats eliminated the Mexican club. However, they resumed the Apertura season with back-to-back wins, gaining the necessary momentum before the clash against Pachuca.
The clash between two mercurial Mexican sides will be difficult to predict. The odds are backing the hosts. However, San Luis have been in great form since the resumption of the league. The outcome may frustrate Pachuca as the chances of a draw between these two clubs are relatively high.
Since 2010, these two clubs have clashed 19 times. Pachuca have the better record with wins on eight occasions. San Luis are not far behind with six wins. The remaining five matches have ended in a stalemate.
San Luis have beaten Pachuca multiple times, but their last win over the seven-time Liga MX champions came in the 2019 Apertura season. After that, these two clubs have met eight times in the league. Six of those games were won by Pachuca, and two ended in draws.
Estadio Hidalgo has not been a happy hunting ground for San Luis in the Liga MX. Their last win over Pachuca, which came in 2019, is still their only win at that venue in eight attempts. The hosts have won four times, and the remaining three matches have ended in draws.
The last time these two teams met was in the Clausura last season. Unai Bilbao gave San Luis the lead at the Estadio Hidalgo. However, goals from Cristian Arango and Illian Hernandez turned the game on its head.
At the end of the Apertura 2022 playoffs, Pachuca clinched their seventh Liga MX crown, becoming the seventh most successful side in the Mexican top-flight. Their overall performance during the Apertura and Clausura seasons made them top seeds for the 2023 Leagues Cup.
However, the team has recently failed to stamp its authority on several games. Opponents are wary of Pachuca’s potential, but the team fails to meet expectations. The same pattern has been observed this season, which is quite concerning for the club.
Pachuca have already dropped points against three teams who were struggling at the wrong end of the table during the previous Apertura season. If the seven-time champions do not regain their winning momentum, they could struggle a lot against the stronger teams and title contenders.
After beating Queretaro FC in the final league stage match of the previous Clausura season, Pachuca failed to win any of their next seven games in all competitions. Santos Laguna eliminated them in the playoffs Round of 16 on penalties.
Pachuca lost the Liga MX Championship final against Clausura winners Tigres UANL a few days before the start of the current Apertura season. The wait for their first win after April was extremely long, but it finally came against Cruz Azul in the previous encounter.
In June, the seven-time Liga MX champions signed Sergio Barreto from Independiente. The center-back has been quite decent at the back since his arrival but has always needed a better partner next to him.
Recently, the club has signed CF Monterrey defender Luis Sanchez on loan. The 23-year-old is expected to partner Barreto in defense and increase the defensive prowess of the team. Pachuca have scored four and conceded seven in five games so far. A decent defensive pair will help the club improve this statistic.
The start of the season may have been topsy-turvy for San Luis, but they were up against teams who are major title contenders. Struggling against the strongest sides and picking up maximum points against the weaker clubs will still allow San Luis to clinch a playoff qualification spot.
Reaching the playoffs again will be the primary objective of the club, which is one of four teams that have not won the Liga MX title yet. Since Pachuca are struggling with their form, San Luis will see them as one of the weaker sides and are expected to go for the jugular in the next game.
In addition, San Luis have a chance to win three games in a row for the first time in Liga MX. The club last achieved this feat in the 2019 Ascenso MX Clausura season. During that prolific run, they won six games across all competitions, including Ascenso MX and Copa MX.
San Luis have maintained a decent goalscoring record so far, as they have netted 11 goals in five games, averaging a little over two goals per match. However, they need to improve defensively because the club has conceded six goals in five games.
As the visitors look to deploy a defensively astute tactic, they will have to manage without their primary goalkeeper, Andres Sanchez. The 25-year-old suffered a calf injury in the Leagues Cup match against New England Revolution and will be out for a few weeks.
Key Striker’s Ended His Goal Drought In The Last Game
While the concerns in defense rise, San Luis’ offensive department is firing on all cylinders. The splendid 3-0 victory over CONCACAF Champions League winners Club Leon in the last match displayed the full potential of San Luis’ frontline.
Leo got on the scoresheet in the last match after firing a blank in the five games before that game. In addition, Jhon Murillo and Rodrigo Dourado also got off the mark this season and will be looking for more contributions in the next game.
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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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