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San Luis to win, both teams to score
This is a tough game to call. Both sides have won their first game of the new season and will be heading into this match full of confidence. Their head-to-head record reads: eight games, three wins each, and two draws.
Guadalajara finished higher in the Apertura season by four points, but San Luis got the better of them when they last faced each other. San Luis are also playing at home and have got the better of Guadalajara twice in their last three meetings, with no losses. It is why San Luis go into this tie as the slight favorite. Both teams should score in this one, with the match averaging 3.13 goals per game, making it one of the higher scoring competitions in this league historically.
Guadalajara will have considered themselves unlucky not to have got something when the two sides last faced each other. San Luis won 1-0 on the day thanks to a goal from Waller Facundo two minutes into stoppage time and held on to get all three points.
San Luis only got two shots away on the day and 47% of the possession, but that was enough to get the result. Guadalajara weren’t clinical enough in front of goal. They took 10 shots but hardly worked the goalkeeper – only two of those 10 shots were on target.
They huffed and puffed toward the end of the game, but San Luis never looked too perturbed. They were happy to sit in their low block and warded off the attacks that came their way.
San Luis started their Clausura campaign against Necaxa, who finished one place ahead of them in the Apertura table, and came out with all three points in the encounter. This always felt like it was going to be a tight game, and that’s just how things turned out. San Luis won 3-2 on the day but were well worth their three points.
The two sides played a very quiet first half but showed more urgency in a second half that included five goals. Juan Sanabria kicked things off with a 63rd-minute strike, and Leo Bonatini joined him four minutes later to give San Luis a 2-0 lead, but Ricardo Monreal pulled one back for Necaxa in the 72nd minute.
Just when it looked like things were slipping away from San Luis, Sabin Merino scored a goal in the 89th minute to kill the game. Angelo Areos scored a goal eight minutes into stoppage time for Necaxa, but it was too little, too late. This was just the sort of game to get the blood pumping for the fans, players, and manager.
San Luis fans have been waiting for the side to really make a mark in the Liga MX since entering the Liga MX in 2019. They’ve had a lot of mid-table finishes, which is good for a team that’s new in the league, but if they want to be known as something other than the new side, they need to set a marker.
The win against Necaxa, along with the performance, is very encouraging. They are now going up against a Guadalajara side who are still trying to figure themselves out. They won’t get a better opportunity to show what they’re about. They’ve also got a decent record against Guadalajara. They just have to approach this game with no fear, and repeat what they did last week to get all three points.
Guadalajara weren’t at the races in their first Clausura game of the season but will not care too much as they got all three points against Monterrey. Guadalajara won 1-0 on the day thanks to an Alexis Vega strike in the 47th minute.
They only had 37% of the possession, took just six shots, and only got two shots on target. Monterrey, on the other hand, took 24 shots, eight of which were on target, and had 63% possession. Monterrey even had a man advantage towards the end of the game when Guadalajara’s Gilberto Sepulvada got sent off in the 78th minute.
Guadalajara did not play very well, and they can’t keep performing like this, but fans will excuse them because it was the first game of the season. It’s certainly not sustainable. They did show a lot of spirit, however. They weren’t the favorites heading into this match, and getting the first goal was a sign of the threat they carry.
They’ll have to put in a much better performance against San Luis because the luck will run out at some point.
Guadalajara are one of the most successful sides in Liga MX history. They’re 12-time champions, and the weight of expectations can be a lot at times. They’re expected not just to get results but also perform to a very high standard, regardless of recent history.
Alexis Vega has had to carry this side for a while, and he needs help. He was once again their savior, but he can do so much for only so long. They've been on a downward slope since their 2018 CONCACAF Champions League triumph. Of course, beating a team like Monterrey in the very first match of a new season will give fans and players a lot of encouragement, but the fans and players will be well aware that a better standard is expected of them.
Of course, they can’t accomplish all their objectives in one go. This is a small step. They are more than capable of putting in a good performance and getting a result against San Luis. This is a great chance for them to really kickstart their season. Two wins in two games will fill them with a lot of belief, and build a foundation for the rest of the season.
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Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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