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Tigres UANL vs Toluca: Expectations Have Grown At Toluca

Written by: Nikhil Kalro
Published May 9, 2023
11 min read
  • Tigres UANL will host Toluca at the Estadio Universitario on Tuesday in a quarterfinal first-leg tie. Tigres UANL head into this tie as favorites.  
  • Tigres ended the season in seventh place, whereas Toluca ended the season in third place. Still, according to the bookmakers, Tigres are the favorites because of the home advantage in the first-leg. 
  • Both sides have a solid defense, so the two legs should be quite tight. Tigres have been one of the most consistent sides in recent years, and Toluca ended last season as the runners-up. This should be a fantastic matchup. 

Tigres UANL VS Toluca Odds

Odds taken from bet365

Game result

Odds

Tigres UANL  

-112

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Draw

+275

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Toluca

+260

BET HERE

Tigres UANL vs Toluca Pick

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Tigres UANL vs Toluca

Tigres UANL vs Toluca Predictions

This promises to be a fantastic match between two strong sides. Naturally, predicting a result is not going to be easy. The bookmakers have Tigres winning this tie, despite finishing four places below Toluca in the league. Tigres were also seven points short of Toluca’s 32-point tally, so it’s a bit strange that the bookies have favor them so highly. 

Tigres are playing at home, which is undoubtedly a factor, but it’s not strong enough to suggest that Tigres are the clear favorites. There’s a lot of value in picking a Toluca win, but there’s also great value in picking a draw, and we think the latter is the best option for this game. 

Both sides have strong defenses, Tigres are at home, and Toluca were the better league side this year. With little to choose between the two sides in the first leg, it’s best to wager on a low-scoring draw. 

Previous Meetings

Tigres have the better head-to-head record but not by much. In the 27 matches between the two sides, Tigres have won 11, lost nine, and drawn seven. Toluca have historically been quite undisciplined in these games, with four red cards. However, they were victorious the last time the two sides met. 

When the two sides faced each other last month, Toluca won 3-2. Igor Lichnovsky gave Toluca the lead in the 27th, and things got better just two minutes later when Tigres’ Luis Enrique Quinones got sent off. Carlos Gonzalez made it 2-0 just before the half-time whistle. The game looked done when Gonzalez got another in the 69th minute, but Tigres showed some spirit. Andre-Pierre Gignac scored in the 76th minute, and Nicolas Lopez slotted home a penalty in the 90th minute to give Tigres some hope, but it was too late. 

Despite going a man down quite early in the game, Tigres took 13 shots to Toluca’s 10. Toluca had most of the possession, as expected. Toluca were worthy winners in the end, but it’s always hard to take much from a game where one team plays with 10 men for most of the game. 

Tigres Enter Quarterfinals With 1-0 Win Over Puebla 

Sebastian Cordova was the hero for Tigres in the first round of the playoffs, as his 56th-minute strike was enough to help them enter the next round. Tigres took 23 shots to Puebla’s 13 and had 54% of the possession, so they certainly deserved to go through. 

The lack of clinical edge has been a problem for Tigres all season, and it could come to bite them in the upcoming game, but the most important thing was going through, and they’ve accomplished that. 

On the positive side, they’ve been far too reliant on Gignac to score the goals, so getting another player to contribute is a big plus at this stage of the season. 

Tigres’ Loss to Leon Would’ve Hurt But They Still Have a Lot to Play For 

Tigres got knocked out of the CONCACAF Championship League in the semifinals last week after losing 3-1 to Leon. Tigres won the first-leg 2-1 and lost a league game to Leon in between the CONCACAF Champions League match 3-0, which might have affected them in the second leg. 

They played a weaker squad in the league game, so losing that wasn’t a big surprise, but losing again with a 3-1 scoreline was a particular disappointment. However, with the CONCACAF Champions League out of the way, they can focus entirely on the Liga MX. 

The win against Puebla was vital because it helped the team move from losing to Leon. They also kept a clean sheet, which was important, considering defense has been at the heart of everything good for Tigres this season. The defense conceded six goals in their last two games against Leon, which was a bit concerning.

Playing at home will be another plus, but not as helpful as the odds table suggests. Toluca will provide a stern challenge. 

Toluca Finish League Strongly With 3-0 Win Over Necaxa 

Toluca ended the league season with a comfortable 3-0 win over Necaxa. Toluca were helped by some poor defending from Necaxa throughout the game, but they all count. Leonardo Fernandez slotted from the penalty spot in the 31st minute to give Toluca the lead. The first-half ended 1-0 to Toluca.

They got off to an excellent start in the second half, and Carlos Gonzalez capitalized on the dominance by scoring in the 52nd minute. Things were pretty much wrapped up before Taigo Volpi added another from the penalty spot in the 71st minute. 

Toluca breezed through most of this game. They had 62% possession and took 13 shots to Necaxa’s seven. They didn’t create too much from open play, but it wasn’t a big concern as scoring goals from open play hasn’t been much of an issue this season. 

Expectations Have Grown At Toluca  

Toluca surprised everyone by beating Club America in the semifinals last season before losing in the finals to Pachuca. There will be no surprise if they enter the finals this season. Their league performances have improved massively, reflected in their fourth-place finish. 

The forward unit has been excellent all season. They’ve scored 34 goals, the third-best record in the league after Monterrey and Club America. There was a time when it looked like the team could finish in second place, but fourth place is also a great improvement from last season’s sixth place. 

Manager Ignacio Ambriz deserves a lot of credit for taking Toluca to a place where they’re serious challengers for the title. However, he now has to deal with the weight of expectations at the club – the expectations that he’s created. 

Toluca offer great value for this tie, but Tigres are strong at home. Both sides are pretty strong defensively, so it’ll most likely be a less exciting game than the one from last month. This is probably the hardest game to pick of all the quarterfinal ties. 

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How to watch Tigres UANL vs Toluca

  • Teams: Tigres UANL vs Toluca
  • Location: Estadio Universitario
  • Time: Thursday, May 11 
  • How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo, and Fox Deportes
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AUTHOR

Nikhil Kalro

679 Articles

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]

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