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Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul Prediction: Big Four Quarter Finals Showdown

Written by: Angelo Zarra
Published May 8, 2024
10 min read

On Thursday night the first leg of the Liga MX Clausura quarterfinals playoff round kicks off with Pumas UNAM hosting Cruz Azul at Estadio Olímpico Universitario. These two combatants most recently met back in March, where the points were shared in a scoreless draw. Head-to-head in their previous 34 clashes, Cruz Azul possesses the advantage winning on 15 occasions while splitting the points 10 times.

Pumas UNAM are peaking at the right time heading into the postseason, avoiding a defeat in their last six matches. Pumas are coming off a play-in-round match last Thursday winning in penalties over Pachuca. In that there six previous matches, the defence has shown up monumentally, as Pumas have picked up four clean sheets.

Meanwhile, Cruz Azul finds themselves as the more rested side with 10 days off between game action. La Máquina are in fine form remaining unbeaten in their last five contests. Like Pumas, the defence had held up its end of the bargain picking up three shutouts.

Here, we will break down the betting odds and share our favourite picks for Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul.

Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul Betting Odds for Thursday, May 9

Rolling into Thursday’s affair, the books see the visitors are more likely to walk away with a result. Cruz Azul is priced at (-138) on the draw no-bet market, on the other hand, Pumas are (+100) underdogs to win or draw, with a draw returning our stake as a push.

Odds taken from bet365 Sportsbook. Head to bet365 and claim $1,000 Safety Net Bet OR $150 in Bonus Bets.

Draw No BetOdds
Pumas UNAM+100
BET HERE
Cruz Azul-138
BET HERE

Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul at bet365 👇

Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul Prediction - Piero Quispe

Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul Betting Predictions

Pumas UNAM Preview

One of the key reasons why Pumas advanced to the quarterfinals is goalkeeper Julio Gonzalez. The 33-year-old put in a convincing shift making a total of six saves in his clean sheet performance last Thursday. In 17 matches played in 2024, the Mexican has picked up seven clean sheets.

In the midfield, Pumas are hoping 22-year-old Piero Quispe can duplicate his play from last week. The internationally capped Peruvian appeared in 79 minutes of play, capping off the match as the most accurate passer finishing with a passing completion rate of 97 percent. Quispe was able to fire away three shots towards the target net with one hitting the target.

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Cruz Azul Preview

Looking to contribute on the scoresheet for the first time since early April is striker Uriel Antuna. Finishing off the Clausura as a runner-up in the Golden Boot race, Antuna racked up eight goals in over 1400 minutes of playing time. The Mexican international forward was a menace around the opposition's six-yard box as he capped off the regular season with 46 total shots with 21 of them reaching the target.

All season long Gonzalo Piovi was a mainstay on the backend, and his presence will be felt once again on Thursday’s battle. The 29-year-old led the competition amongst his peers at the center back position with 42 interceptions made. Piovi finished off the 2024 Clausura season with a passing accuracy of 85.8 percent.

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Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul - My Pick

Mentally for the players the slate is wiped clean, and their new season begins looking to lift the title, but there are solid stats to back the home team in this first leg. Pumas were one of two clubs to finish the campaign with zero home defeats. Their rigid home defence is one of the main reasons why they are successful at home conceding an average of 0.78 goals per game.

On the other hand, Cruz Azul only won four of its eight away fixtures this season. They couldn’t generate much on the scorer's sheet only registering a goal per game on the road. Cruz Azul should advance in this 2-legged playoff skirmish but on Thursday Pumas are more than capable of grabbing a result at home with the home trends they have produced this year. Take Pumas UNAM on the draw no bet market.

How to Watch Pumas UNAM vs. Cruz Azul

  • When: Thursday, May 9, 9:00 p.m ET

  • Where: Estadio Olimpico Universitario

  • TV: Univision, Telemundo, Fox Sports, ESPN, Vix and Sling TV

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AUTHOR

Angelo Zarra

40 Articles

Hailing from the great white north in Canada, over the last 15 years, Angelo has been wagering on sports and, more specifically, the sport that’s in his blood, soccer. Well-versed in soccer leagues across the globe, keeping tabs on what’s happening in the world of soccer. Since 2022, Angelo has published MLS betting previews on various websites, including on Major League Soccer's official betting page for a short while. Through the power of social media, Angelo has been invited to talk soccer betting on national TV & radio on Sports Grid.

In Angelo’s free time, he can be found walking his dog and lounging at home watching any game that's on while enjoying his second favourite thing after sports: food! 

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