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In the last five matches, Pumas UNAM have won four and lost just one game. Their only loss during this run came against table-toppers Club America, and it was sandwiched by wins against Atletico de San Luis, Puebla, Queretaro FC, and Cruz Azul.
CF Monterrey have also lost only one out of their last five matches. After ending a dismal losing streak with a win against Chivas Guadalajara, they defeated Club Leon before losing against rivals Tigres UANL. That was followed by a draw against Puebla and a win against FC Juarez.
This encounter will be a tightly contested affair, and both sides are desperate for all three points. A draw will be considered a loss. Hence, both teams will come out all guns blazing. Despite their strong record at home, Pumas UNAM may not be able to contain CF Monterrey in this match, and the visitors are favorites to clinch all three points.
Since 2010, these two clubs have met 30 times in Liga MX. CF Monterrey have a slightly better record, with 14 wins under their belt. Pumas UNAM have snatched the win on ten occasions, with the remaining six games ending in draws.
When Monterrey hosted Pumas in the 2023 Clausura season, the hosts relied on Rogelio Funes Mori’s ten-minute hattrick in the first half to sweep the visitors away with a spectacular 4-1 victory.
However, this time, Pumas will be the hosts, and Monterrey have not enjoyed playing away games against the seven-time Liga MX champions. In the last 15 visits, Monterrey only won twice, while Pumas won nine times.
Monterrey registered away wins against Pumas in the 2017 Apertura season and the 2014 Clausura season. Apart from that, the visitors have struggled in Pumas’ backyard.
At the end of the league phase of the 2022 Apertura and 2023 Clausura seasons, Pumas found themselves at the wrong end of the table, failing to qualify for the playoffs on both occasions. But this season, the team has turned the form around and will undoubtedly qualify for playoffs.
The focus will be on maintaining consistency and beating the stronger teams to have a shot at their eighth title. Pumas have struggled against the big names on a couple of occasions this season, and they can rectify that with a statement win against Monterrey
The Estadio Olimpico de Universitario has not been a happy hunting ground for Monterrey in Liga MX. To make matters worse for them, Pumas have been stellar at home.
The seven-time Liga MX champions have played five games at home so far. They have won three and drawn two. One of those wins came against defending champions Tigres UANL.
The hosts will eagerly await Cesar Huerta’s return from international duty for the next match. The Mexican has scored seven goals in 11 appearances for the club.
Five of those goals have come in the last four games. The 22-year-old bagged a brace against Puebla and Cruz Azul.
After a string of unfortunate results earlier this season, Monterrey tumbled down the table and even fell out of the playoff qualification zone. However, they regained lost form at the crucial moment and are ten points off the top with two games in hand.
The five-time Liga MX champions have to make the most of the spare games they have in hand, as wins in those matches can propel them toward the summit of the Apertura table. However, they will have to go against all odds to get a win in the encounter against Pumas.
Monterrey will be extremely pleased after securing a positive result in their previous match against FC Juarez. However, the defense allowed the opposition to find the net again.
The visitors have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven games. The last shutout came against Mazatlan FC before the start of the 2023 Leagues Cup.
When these two teams last met, Funes Mori scored a quick-fire hattrick as Monterrey handed Pumas a 4-1 loss on the final day of the league phase of the 2023 Clausura season.
Circumstances are different this time, but the 32-year-old is eyeing more goals this season. Mori has already scored four and assisted two in eight appearances so far.
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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