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Our Pick: Tigres UANL to win.
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Two strong clubs who have tasted Liga MX success multiple times will face off against each other at the Estadio Universitario de Nuevo León on Saturday night. However, given the recent forms, the home side is the favorite to pick up all three points against Cruz Azul.
Tigres UANL have suffered frustrating draws in their last two outings in the Liga MX. But they have also won the three matches that preceded the back-back draws.
On the other hand, Cruz Azul has had a mixed bag of results. The visitors have not been in the best form this Apertura 2023/24 season, as they sit 16th in the table and are struggling to clinch a playoff spot.
Eight-time Liga MX champions Tigres UANL lead the nine-time champions Cruz Azul by 12 wins to 11 in the head-to-head statistics. Eleven games between these two teams have ended in draws.
The story is very similar in the last five meetings, as both clubs have nabbed two victories each, with one game ending in a draw. Interestingly, Tigres UANL have lost both times at home in the past five meetings. This might bolster Los Celestes’ spirits as they visit Tigres on Saturday.
Tigres UANL have maintained their fantastic form from the 2023 Clausura season, where they lifted the title. They finished seventh in the regular season, making it to the playoffs, winning the reclassification clash, and defeating Toluca, table toppers Monterrey, and Guadalajara to lift the title. This marked their eighth Liga MX title.
Robert Siboldi’s men have since improved their performance and currently sit second in the Apertura 2023 table, only behind Club America. They also have the second-best home form in the league stage this season.
Los Tigres have won six of their 12 matches so far and lost just two, with the remaining four ending in draws.
French veteran Andre-Pierre Gignac is enjoying a fantastic season despite being in the twilight of his career. The 37-year-old striker has found the back of the net seven times in nine starts and is the top-scorer for Los Tigres this season.
The Frenchman has also provided three assists, taking his total goal contributions to 10 in 10 games played. He scored once in both draws in the previous two games and will be a significant threat against Cruz Azul.
Tigres UANL have been in great form this season, sitting second in the table with six wins out of 12. They have lost just twice in the current Apertura season, with neither of the losses coming at their home stadium. Tigres have won four of their six home games this season while drawing the remaining two.
Los Tigres are also ranked second in goals scored this season, with some of their best performances coming at home, including a 5-0 demolition of Queretaro at the beginning of September. Tigres are averaging two goals per match so far.
The Clausura 2021 champions, Cruz Azul, have had a disastrous Liga MX Apertura 2023/24 season. Los Celestes have won just three of their 12 games played so far, an unexpected performance from a team of this stature.
On the other hand, Joaquin Moreno’s side has lost seven games, which is more than 50% of the games played this season. This is the perfect chance for Cruz Azul to pull off a turnaround, as they are no strangers to tasting victory at the Estadio Universitario de Nuevo León. Cruz Azul have not lost away to Tigres in their last three encounters, winning two and drawing one.
Moreno’s men have conceded a staggering 24 goals in 12 matches, averaging two per game. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in nine of their previous matches. Though the team has a decent away record this season, having secured an average of 1.3 points per away game, they are third-best, behind their next opponents.
Cruz Azul will have a tough time keeping out Tigres’ attack, as encounters between these teams usually see two goals on average.
Despite a poor season, a miracle may still allow Cruz Azul to make the playoffs. They have five games left to play and are just four points behind 10th-placed FC Juarez, whom they are yet to play.
Their remaining games are all against clubs placed higher than them, and if they can take points off these teams, Cruz Azul can chase down a playoff spot.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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