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Only five points separate the two sides but one sits in 10th place on the Liga MX table, while the other sits in 16th. Puebla, the former, will be heading into this match as the clear favorites. They are the better team at the moment, as the league table shows and will also be playing at home.
Pumas UNAM have very little going for them heading into this game but they’ve got the better head-to-head record, which should count for something. In the 22 meetings between these sides, Puebla have come out on top just five times, with seven ending in a draw and Pumas UNAM coming out on top in the nine other games.
Pumas UNAM will have to believe in their history if they are going to get something out of this game. Their away record has been awful, so a win almost certainly looks off the cards. A draw will be seen as a positive result.
The last match between these two sides took place back in April and ended in a 2-2 draw. Pablo Alejandro Parra Rubilar gave Puebla the lead in the 12th minute before Maximiliano Javier Araújo Vilches added another just before half-time.
However, the two-goal lead didn’t last for long as José Rogerio de Oliveira Melo got UNAM’s first goal just before the half-time whistle got blown. Pumas UNAM kept pushing and deservedly equalized. UNAM had 55% of the possession in this game and took 11 shots compared to Puebla’s seven.
The only two shots on target for UNAM found the back of the net. Jorge Ruvalcaba got the equalizer in the 86th minute. It was a tight game and neither team could complain about the draw. The expected goals were around the same as well with Puebla generating 1.10 and UNAM generating 1.21.
Puebla were on a ridiculously long run of draws before losing 1-0 to Guadalajara over a week ago. With the run of draws, a loss was the worst way to break the streak but they managed to turn it into a positive by landing a win against Tigres UNAL on the weekend.
Puebla won 2-1 thanks to an early brace from Martín Barragán Negrete. Samir got one back for Tigres in the 42nd minute but Puebla did well to hold on. They only had 37% of the possession and had to face 14 shots but that was expected after going up by two goals quite early. It was a massive three points and held them in good stead heading into the next game.
Despite being in 10th place on the Liga MX table, Puebla have got a positive goal difference. The same can’t be said for some of the sides ahead of them at this moment in time and it’s mostly got to do with their solid backline. The side has just conceded 20 goals so far this season.
These are the sort of numbers expected of a top six side. As long as they keep this up, they won’t lose a lot of games, which has certainly been the case this season. Monterrey are the only other side to have lost two games.
The team was once on a run of eight draws, which would be a remarkable stat in any league. Even now, they lead the draws table with 10 so far this season from 15 games. The home fans haven’t had a lot to celebrate all season and will be hoping that the win from the weekend ushers a big change.
They’ll have to start scoring more goals, however. They’ve only scored 22 so far and it’s part of the reason why they aren’t higher on the Liga MX table.
Pumas UNAM are having a season to forget after losing 2-1 to Cruz Azul at home on the weekend. Pumas UNAM were a bit unfortunate in this one but that won’t give their fans any respite. Cruz Azul were clinical on the day, getting a 2-0 lead before half-time thanks to strikes from Rodrigo Huescas and Gonzalo Carneiro.
Diogo led a potential comeback for Pumas UNAM by scoring in the 65th minute but their 22 shots and 54% possession were to no avail ultimately. The 2-0 made it easy for Cruz Azul, who could just sit back and wait for an opportunity.
The game state was always going to force Pumas UNAM to go all guns blazing in the second half but they didn’t do enough and had to suffer their fifth loss of the season.
The side has only won two matches all season and it’s looking really bleak. Teams like Cruz Azul and Puebla are the sort of sides you should expect to get something out of but the way things are going, even a draw will do.
Their away form has also been absolutely dire all season. They haven’t won a game on the road. Their expected goals in away matches should give them some hope for the future but it needs to come fast. The expected goals generated is 1.76 per 90 away from home and the expected goals against is 1.68 per 90. All of this suggests that the performances aren’t the worst. It might be a crisis in confidence but they need to solve that issue quickly.
Fernando Aristeguieta hasn’t been too bad with six goals for the club this season but he doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of help. The club have scored just 19 goals so far this season. With both teams not scoring a lot so far this season, this might be a bit of a dull affair.
However, as suggested in the earlier section, it might just be a case of not taking your chances. Puebla, for example, have got worse underlying numbers per 90 but are managing to do enough to not lose matches. The manager needs to fill the team with more belief because they are creating enough, at least more than some of the teams above them.
The change in fortunes has got to start from somewhere and they can’t wait for games at home or some other convenience to be up for it. They are up against very stubborn opposition next, which should be the perfect test.
|Teams||Puebla vs Pumas UNAM|
|Time||Friday, September 23 at 9:05 pm ET 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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