Pumas vs Cruz Azul Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks
- Vital figures for Cruz Azul look ready to carry them to another win after their latest imposing performance
- In their first of two battles, a handful of Pumas’ defensive figures were overwhelmed with their duties
- Blessed with a long list of talented players, Cruz Azul have a strong bench that could be utilized if needed
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Pumas vs Cruz Azul Odds
|Cruz Azul win||TBA|
Pumas vs Cruz Azul Predictions and Picks
Few expected to see a 4-0 win for Cruz Azul earlier this week in their first semifinal leg of the Liga MX playoffs. Many media and fans justifiably anticipated a chess-like match against Pumas. Both boasting well-rounded and impressive rosters, Thursday’s first of two semifinal clashes should have been a tense and perhaps even guarded fight.
Instead, it was Cruz Azul who figured out how to perfectly break down Pumas. Through a high-pressing approach from manager Robert Siboldi, Cruz Azul absolutely battered their opponents after scoring three times in the first 13 minutes.
Although Cruz Azul is infamous for catastrophic and last-minute failures, there was nothing from the first leg that indicated that Pumas will bounce back in this series. Cruz Azul have them figured out.
Cruz Azul for the win.
How to Watch Pumas vs Cruz Azul
|Pumas vs Cruz Azul Information|
|What||Pumas vs Cruz Azul|
|Where||Estadio Olimpico Universitario|
|When||Sunday, December 6th at 7:30 pm ET|
|How to Watch||Univision, TUDN|
Pumas fans, who were almost as stunned as their team’s backline, were left scratching their heads as they attempted to make sense of Thursday’s 4-0 loss.
This wasn’t a typical defeat. As mentioned earlier, Cruz Azul scored three goals within the first 13 minutes and were unlucky to not have a fourth by halftime. Pumas manager Andres Lillini also appeared perplexed on the sideline. With a lack of ideas, his team ultimately looked half-awake as they lost duels and failed to restrict Cruz Azul’s attacking blitz in the first half.
After halftime, there was little that Pumas had to offer. Cruz Azul, content with their 3-0 lead, caught their breath and sat a bit further back as they allowed Pumas to create painless attacking situations. Then, in injury time, Cruz Azul pounced on one more opportunity, showing off their efficiency with a fourth and final goal in the 95th minute.
Another set of 90 minutes are still left in this series, but after watching the first batch, Cruz Azul have been incredibly superior and should once again claim another victory this weekend.
Key Players Have Reawoken For Cruz Azul
Following an unexciting finish to their quarterfinal series against Tigres, numerous figures for Cruz Azul appeared reinvigorated during the latest win over Pumas.
On the left-wing, Roberto Alvarado put in arguably his best performance of the season with a goal and assist — and almost a second goal as well. In the midfield, Rafael Baca was a dominant force who not only scored a golazo from distance but also helped control the heart of the midfield. Alongside him, Luis Romo was also brilliant with two goals of his own and his threatening runs through the middle of the pitch.
Others like Ignacio Rivero, Orbelin Pineda, and nearly the entirety of the starting XI were fearless as they immediately took charge.
Pumas’ Young Backline Was Far Too Vulnerable In The First Semifinal Leg
Within a matter of two minutes, Cruz Azul figured out Pumas’ backline.
Through an overwhelming and constant approach that focused on high pressure, Cruz Azul sliced through Pumas’ defense that had yet to deal with a team this season that hit the ground running so quickly.
Which isn’t a good sign for the second leg.
Young players like Alan Mozo, Alejandro Mayorga, and Johan Vasquez looked lost as they struggled to figure out who to mark or chase down. Lacking experience, they also looked uneasy after allowing the early batch of goals and never seemed to regain their confidence.
Will they sort themselves out before the second leg?
Cruz Azul Have More Depth And A Reliable Backup Plan
Although Pumas have so far punched above their weight with the squad that they have, the bad news for them is that they don’t have the same caliber of depth as Cruz Azul.
When looking at both benches, Cruz Azul stands out with names like Joaquin Martinez, Elias Hernandez, Yoshimar Yotun, Milton Caraglio, and Santiago Gimenez — all of whom could be star players for numerous other Liga MX teams.
The same can’t be said for Pumas, and if their starters that have exceeded expectations throughout most of the season are now finally coming back to earth, it might be too much to ask of their backups to potentially get the job done against a superior Cruz Azul roster.
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]