Santos Laguna vs Pachuca Prediction, Odds & Picks
- Pachuca’s stalwart backline will easily make things exceedingly challenging for Santos
- Although Santos have scored more goals this season, a look into some numbers reveal a miniscule difference between themselves and Pachuca
- After dealing with positive COVID-19 cases earlier this month, key Pachuca figures should be fit and available
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Santos Laguna vs Pachuca Odds
|Santos Laguna||+135 |
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Santos Laguna vs Pachuca Predictions and Picks
A strong defense can carry any team far in the Liga MX playoffs. That said, what happens when both sides have both been exceptional when it comes to goals allowed?
There’s little difference between these two squads, but if you dig a bit deeper into a few factors that will impact the result of this weekend’s playoff game, more signs point to the visitors walking away with a win.
It’ll undoubtedly be a close one, but it should be Pachuca here who emerge with a hard-fought and narrow victory.
Pachuca for the win (+185)
How to Watch Santos Laguna vs Pachuca
|Santos Laguna vs Pachuca Information|
|What||Santos Laguna vs Pachuca|
|Where||Estadio Corona (Torreon, Mexico)|
|When||Saturday, November 21st at 8:00 PM ET|
|How to Watch||TBD|
So begin the Liga MX playoffs.
In a new structure that starts off with what are essentially four wild card matches, the Mexican soccer weekend will kick-off this Saturday with a much-anticipated playoff battle between the #8 seed Santos and the visiting #9 seed Pachuca.
Separated only by goals scored, both teams had nearly identical regular seasons after finishing with the same 25 point tally and a +4 goal differential. Thanks to their 24-goal total, it was Santos in the end who climbed just ahead of Pachuca in the league table, who only had 18 goals in their respective season.
But don’t let those numbers fool you into thinking that Santos will get the win.
Although Santos will also be hosting the single-leg playoff battle, Pachuca have plenty of reason to feel confident ahead of Saturday.
Pachuca Have The Best Defense In Liga MX
With only 14 goals allowed in just 17 games, no team in the league allowed fewer goals in the regular season than Pachuca. Los Tuzos, who play with a pragmatic and organized approach, were constantly and consistently frustrating for their opponents who struggled to create much in the attack.
In fact, in their last 11 games, Pachuca never allowed more than one goal.
Their secret to success? There are plenty of key figures to shine some light on, but at the risk of overlooking a few of these names, the one that stands out the most by far is central defender Oscar Murillo. Skillful in the air and always a step or two ahead of his opponents, the 32-year-old Colombian has once again highlighted why he is considered as one of the most difficult defenders to go up against in Liga MX.
A Deep Dive Into Attacking Numbers Reveals Only A Small Difference Between Pachuca And Santos
But what about the attacking efforts of both teams? On paper, Santos has scored more than Pachuca and should therefore have the advantage, right?
When looking at xG (expected goals), Santos’ total of 24.2 is just narrowly above Pachuca’s 23.6. Granted, this could point to Pachuca not doing a good enough job of finishing the chances that have been given to them, but that said, the numbers show that Pachuca have relatively created the same amount of attacking chances as Santos in the regular season.
It’s not as if Santos has a dominant finisher either. Striker Julio Furch, who has just five goals in 17 games, is currently the leading goalscorer for Santos this season. Looking at Pachuca, the club’s leading goalscorer Victor Guzman also has five so far in the tournament.
In Spite Of Recent Batch Of Positive COVID-19 Cases, Pachuca Can Still Rely On Key Players
Although the team dealt with a number of positive COVID-19 cases earlier this month, the good news for Pachuca is that they should still be able to utilize many of their best talents this weekend. According to recent reports, crucial game-changing names like Luis Chavez, Guzman, Murillo and others are all set to return to the field.
Barring a late surge of more COVID-19 cases within the roster, Pachuca should be more than capable of employing the defensive-minded approach that could carry them to the next round of the Liga MX playoffs.
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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]