Tigres vs Toluca Prediction, Odds & Picks
- Toluca have far too many defensive deficiencies
- Empowered by confident figures in nearly every part of their roster, Tigres are too powerful to lose to a side like Toluca
- In an unanticipated scenario in which it goes to penalties, Tigres would once again be the favorites
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Tigres vs Toluca Odds
Tigres vs Toluca Predictions and Picks
With all due apologies to Toluca fans, they don’t stand much of a chance here. Toluca has had abysmal defensive numbers all season and is now set to go up against arguably the most talented attacking team in the Western Hemisphere.
Tigres are an entirely different beast once they enter the playoffs and should have little to no trouble brushing Toluca aside. Toluca could make things interesting with an unexpected goal (or perhaps two), but it’ll be Tigres in the end who clinch the win.
Tigres for the victory (-180)
How to Watch Tigres vs Toluca
|Tigres vs Toluca Information|
|What||Tigres vs Toluca|
|Where||Estadio Universitario (Monterrey, Mexico)|
|When||Sunday, November 22nd at 8:00 PM ET|
|How to Watch||TUDN|
As opposed to Saturday’s Liga MX playoff games that could prove to be close, Sunday’s should finish with big wins for the heavy favorites.
Tigres will be one of those favorites. Powered by a frontline that is carried by marquee striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, Tigres always seem to be a guarantee when it comes to predicting who will be qualifying for the playoffs in recent years. In fact, the only true complaint about their latest run to the playoffs is that the #6 seed didn’t clinch just one more point in the regular season that would have booked them an automatic place into the next round of the playoffs.
Toluca, on the other hand, might just be happy to be invited to the playoff party. Although they had one of the worst defenses in the league this season, their fairly average attack has been able to put up just enough goals to sneak into playoffs at the #11 position.
Toluca’s Defensive Numbers Have Been Genuinely Awful
Let’s check in with our good friend xGA (expected goals against).
When looking at the stats for Liga MX’s regular season, Toluca was dead last when it came to their 27.24 tally. In short: Toluca was expected to give up the most goals in the 2020 Apertura.
Sure, their approach has also led to some fun high-scoring games, but more often than not, Los Diablos Rojos found themselves on the receiving end of a thrashing by their opponents. Against Tigres, they may not even have much of a chance to create opportunities in the final third when you consider how balanced their roster is.
Tigres Are Far Too Well-Rounded To Fail On Sunday
But what about Tigres’ xGA? With a 17.99 total, Tigres had the second-best expected goals against a rating in Liga MX. That’s a sign of a good defense and their attack has obviously not been bad either.
With 27 goals scored in the Apertura, only two other teams scored more this season than Tigres. Their frontline has also been boosted by one of the revelations of the season, Nico “Diente” Lopez. Occasionally playing as an impact substitute, the winger/striker finished the regular season with six goals and two assists in just 396 minutes of play.
In the net, Tigres’ backline can also rest easy knowing that veteran goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman is ready to once again take charge in net. As one of the top players in the league, the Argentine international is talented enough to help paper over any potential but also unexpected cracks.
If Tigres Slip Up, They Should Still Be The Favorites In A Penalty Shoot-out
And yet, what if Tigres allow a late equalizer?
It’s happened before. Comfortable with a narrow lead, there have been a handful of times this year in which an opponent catches Tigres off-guard and sneaks in a late goal to tie up the game.
The good news for Tigres is that even if they do finish with a tie at the end of 90 minutes, they’ll remain the favorites in a shoot-out.
If any of this weekend’s playoff games end in a tie at the end of regulation time, the match will go directly to penalties. Tigres — with names like Gignac, Lopez, and Guzman in their roster — are the last Liga MX team that anyone would want to go up against in a shoot-out.
Which isn’t too bad of a back-up plan for Tigres. If things surprisingly go wrong, they should still be able to rely on experienced veterans who won’t be impacted by the pressure of penalties.
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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]