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Puebla lost to CD Guadalajara in the league phase and will be eyeing revenge in the reclassification round. They are in much better form than their opponents and will go into the game as the favorites to win.
Both sides have not been great at keeping ball possession this season. The averages of both sides are below 50, while pass success has just been around 80%.
Puebla have scored more goals in the season, but at the same time have not done great in defense. It is the opposite for Guadalajara, who have struggled in front of goal while doing well in defense.
The match this week will be a big test for both, and the players will need time to settle into the game. Both sets of players will be nervy at the start and looking to take advantage of each other’s mistakes.
Puebla have had a season to forget so far but still managed to get into the playoffs. They secured just four wins this season, two of them coming in the last three matches.
After a winning start to the season against Mazatlan, Puebla made it two wins in two by beating Santos Laguna at home. They were then held by Club Leon and Cruz Azul, and that marked the start of their winless streak.
They failed to win any of their next 12 matches and had to wait until game week 15 to get their next win. They defeated Tigres UNAL and Club America in back-to-back games to secure the top 12 spot and a place in the playoffs.
A 12-match winless streak in a 17-match league usually proves to be costly for all sides, but Puebla managed 10 draws in those matches and thus managed to cling on to the playoff spot.
The worry for them would certainly be the defense as they managed just two clean sheets in the entire league phase. Puebla conceded 23 goals in the season while scoring 25 times. They could have easily got a couple more wins if it was not for the leaky defense.
Puebla do not have to dig deep to find out the last time they defeated Guadalajara in the league. They managed to win the 3-2 thriller after coming back from two goals down at the break.
Miguel Ponce and Alexis Vega scored in the first half to hand Guadalajara the lead in the 41st minute. The 4-2-3-1 formation from Marcelo Michel Leano was proving tricky for Nicolas Larcamon’s men to break, and there was a slight change in the second half.
The away side moved from a 4-51 to a more attacking 4-3-3, and it worked wonders for them. Fernando Aristeguieta got on the scoresheet just 5 minutes into the second half to pull them back into the game.
Jordi Cortizo made it 2-2 after the hour mark, and then things got better for Puebla as their opponents were reduced to 10 men. The referee sent off goalscorer Alexis Vega, and the match turned on its head. The goal and the red cards took place within seconds of each other, and after a lengthy VAR check, both decisions stood.
The home side had their backs to the wall for the last 20 minutes, and Guillermo Martínez made the most of his chance. Puebla secured the win thanks to a goal from the substitute two minutes after coming on. The goal came in the 78th minute and was enough for the away side to hold on.
Guadalajara had a tough time this season as they were playing twice almost every single week. The players were traveling a lot to play in club friendlies with European and MLS sides, and that disrupted their domestic season.
They played against LA Galaxy and Juventus in July and August and were handed 2-0 defeats in both games. The players were already down on confidence and getting outplayed in both matches saw them suffer more.
The players played in these friendly matches while they were winless in six Liga MX Apertura matches. They had drawn five times in the season already while registering a loss at the hands of Atletico de San Luis in the second game week.
Guadalajara had the chance to make it to move up the league table but failed to do anything in their last three matches. They were once again disrupted with club friendlies as they played FC Cincinnati and Club America in the middle of September. They used players who were not on international duty but still could not get the win, and that made things worse.
In the last three league matches, they were up against Club America, Cruz Azil, and Tigres Unal. While Guadalajara managed to score in all three, they also ended up conceding eight goals and lost all matches.
The shock for their fans was that these losses came right after they went unbeaten in seven matches. They managed to win five times in those games, and that included four clean sheets too.
Guadalajara were at their best when they took on Puebla earlier this season at home. They dominated possession in both halves and managed to get the goal late in the game to seal the win.
Ricardo Cadena played a traditional 4-4-2 to start the match, and that worked well against Guadalajara’s 5-4-1 formation.
The first half was a level contest as the home side managed three shots on target, while the away side managed just one. Both sides created a big chance each but failed to convert.
After a goalless first half, Guadalajara came out intending to go all out for the win. They had more possession and shots in the second half and their constant pressure on the Puebla goal.
Alexis Vega scored the lone goal of the match in the 81st minute, and that helped them seal all three points. They still ended up finishing behind Puebla in the table but will be looking to draw inspiration from the win and replicate it this week.
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|Teams||Puebla vs Guadalajara|
|Time||Sunday, October 9 at 5.30 pm ET onwards|
|How to watch||Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and
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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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