Pumas vs Leon Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks
- Pumas haven’t been afraid to keep things level through numerous ties this season
- Despite their success in the playoffs, Leon haven’t been entirely dominant
- Full-throttle tracking efforts might wait until the second and following leg of the Liga MX finals
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Pumas vs Leon Odds
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Pumas vs Leon Predictions and Picks
Both sitting in the top two spots of the Liga MX regular-season table, it’s not much of a shock to see that there isn’t much between Pumas and Leon in this week’s Liga MX finals.
Leon, as the #1 seed, has generally had a better overall defense but has also had a couple of close calls in the playoffs. Pumas, at #2, have better-attacking numbers but were also once caught off-guard by a 4-0 defeat earlier this month (before bouncing back themselves with a 4-0 win).
In what will be the first of two legs, both teams will likely move cautiously as they hesitantly test the waters.
It’ll be in the best interest of either squad to not take too many chances here in the first 90 minutes.
How to Watch Pumas vs Leon
|Pumas vs Leon Information|
|What||Pumas vs Leon|
|Where||Estadio Olimpico Universitario (Mexico City, Mexico)|
|When||Thursday, December 10th at 10:00 PM ET|
|How to Watch||Univision, TUDN|
As per usual in the Liga MX playoffs, we’ve seen the anticipated batch of upsets and shock results, and yet, it’s the league’s top two teams that have emerged from the semifinals with an invitation to the championship series.
Leon, fresh off a 2-1 aggregate win over Chivas in the previous round, has made things surprisingly difficult for themselves in the playoffs. Often viewed as the very best club that Liga MX has to offer in 2020, Leon also lost their first of two quarterfinal legs against #12 Puebla late last month. Leon is defensively rigid and also dynamic in the attack, but they aren’t without their faults.
Which can also be said of Pumas. Just a few days ago, it was tough to find many (or any, in fact) who were expecting the Mexico City side to be in the Liga MX finals. After stumbling to a 4-0 defeat to Cruz Azul in the first leg of the semifinals, a place in the next round appeared far too out of reach. Pumas defied these incredible odds, and after sprinting towards a 4-0 win in the second leg last Sunday, they were able to clinch a place in the championship series thanks to a higher-seeding tie-breaker.
Now in the finals, they’ll be sure to not make the same mistake in the first leg that they did in the semis…
Pumas Have Frequently Aimed For Ties This Season
At the risk of ignoring their recent 4-4 aggregate series from last week, Pumas do in fact tend to keep things fairly pragmatic. In the regular season, no team earned more ties than Pumas’ tally of eight over 17 games.
Even at home, this trend continued with their four draws in nine matches — a tally that no other club exceeded as well.
It may not be the most thrilling of approaches, but it’s one that has earned them a spot in the finals after taking part in a long list of tense and almost chess-like battles that frequently end in a stalemate.
And with two games to play for, Pumas shouldn’t take any chances just yet until possibly the second leg of the championship series this weekend.
After Narrowly Sneaking Past Chivas In The Semifinals, Leon Should Be Involved In Another Tight Series
What to make of Leon? Capable of steamrolling opponents, they’ve instead gone for a slightly more conservative way of earning success in this season’s playoffs with close battles.
Following their 3-2 aggregate win over Puebla in the quarterfinals — a series which left many media and fans scratching their heads — Leon once again got by on the skin of their teeth with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Chivas in the semis.
Pumas won’t be any easier. Keeping in mind that they were shaken up from the four goals allowed in their own semifinal series, they’ll be sure to stay organized with a focus on making this another tactically rigorous encounter.
The Attacking Fireworks Traditionally Wait For The Second And Final Leg
As much as we would all love to hype the beauty and spectacle that Liga MX frequently provides, most of the highlights and fireworks of a championship series tend to arrive in the second leg.
It’s in the nature of the Mexican game in the finals, and with a total of 180+ minutes on the dock, it wouldn’t be odd to see either team not truly start to step up until the latter stages.
And although it could be argued that Leon looked better than their upcoming opponents in the semifinal round, Pumas have also only allowed a total of four goals in their last eight games at home.
All signs point to a tie.
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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]