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Pick: Puebla to win, both teams to score from Cesars sportsbook
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Puebla are having a tough time on the pitch and need a big win to get their confidence back up – and to bring their claim to the top spot back to life. They are up against Toluca, who are also struggling for form, and this could be the best chance for them to get that big win and bring their season back on track.
However, Toluca will also come into this game thinking the same way. They are looking to make things worse for Puebla and get a win that could seal their place in the playoff places for the next couple of weeks. Although that will take some work, as Toluca currently have the worst goal difference in the league – negative 10 – by some distance.
The bad news for Toluca is that they have struggled against Puebla in recent games. The last time they won was back in 2019, which was 2 years after their previous win over the opponents.
In the last five meetings between these two teams, Puebla have won thrice. Moreover, they have scored 12 goals in those 5 matches, while Toluca have notched just 6 – four of which came in the thrilling draw in 2021.
We think Puebla will get back on track for their first-spot push after dropping points off consecutive games in the last two match days.
Toluca have not been doing well in the league this season and have collected just 13 points in 10 matches. They have a game in hand compared to the teams around them, but their form has not been promising so far, and their leaky defense has been their biggest issue.
Three losses in their last 5 matches have seen them go nowhere in the league table. They are still hanging on to one of the playoff spots, but if any team below them gets a win, they could easily slip out this weekend.
Just a glance at their performances this season, and it is evident that they need some big changes at the club. Ignacio Ambríz was brought in in December, but he has not managed to stamp his mark on this team and turn their fortunes around.
In late February, they needed an injury-time goal to get a point in their clash with Queretaro. They did well in that game by dominating possession and managing more shots on goal, but they were far from clinical. Maximiliano Perg handed the home side the lead early in the game, and despite going down to 10 men, they held on for almost 30 minutes. Leonardo Fernández scored in the 95th minute of the game to level things up.
The draw should have given them some confidence to do well in the next game, but that was not the case. Marcel Ruíz scored early to hand Club Tijuana the lead before Joaquín Montecinos sealed the 2-1 win in the second half. The goal for Toluca was an own goal by Christian Rivera – yet again showing what they are missing in games.
They did manage to sneak a win at Club Necaxa by sitting back deep in their own half. Camilo Sanvezzo scored from the first chance of the game, which was enough as they defended well for the first time and finally got a win.
Pachuca came to Toluca with a stunning winning run, and there was no chance the home side would end that streak. Despite managing just three shots on target, the league leaders won 3-0.
Club America also thrashed them 3-0 – a red flag if any this season, losing heavily to them – and that was complete domination. Toluca were not allowed a single shot on target, while the home side managed 10. Only one team has scored fewer goals than Toluca’s 10 – Club Tijuana, with 9 – and no one barring Mazatlan – who’ve also conceded 20 – has conceded as many as them this season. Check out more International Soccer matches here.
Puebla were unbeaten in the league at the start of March and were also on top of the table. As the team with the lowest transfer value – and commercial value – on paper, it was a story everyone was beginning to get behind.
However, the 4 games in the last 30 days have been abysmal for them, and they have now slipped to third.
They started the month with a draw against Juarez FC. After a goalless first half, Fernando Arce Jr opened the scoring for the away side, and it looked like Puebla were heading for their first defeat. But Alberto Herrera rescued them 11 minutes after coming on, getting the equalizer but no more. The 1-1 draw was only the third time they had dropped points this season.
They bounced back with a 3-1 win over Cruz Azul, and it seemed like the draw was just a tiny bump in the long run. They dominated the whole game, and Fernando Aristeguieta scored a hat trick to get them all three points.
But things took a bad turn as they slipped up against Atletico de San Luis – a side in the bottom three. They had picked up just two wins this season but managed to stun Puebla and grab a late win. Martín Barragán scored the equalizer for Puebla in the 88th minute, but Efrain Orona scored with the final kick of the game to seal the unlikely win for San Luis.
Santos Laguna were the next to stun Puebla, but they managed to hold on for a draw that time. Israel Reyes and Martín Barragán scored to hand the home side a 2-0 lead, but two quickfire goals from Eduardo Aguirre in the 78th minute and Leonardo Suárez two minutes later saw Santos walk away with a point from the game. In short, three of the five times Puebla have dropped points this season came in their last 5 fixtures. They will be itching to turn that around this weekend.
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|Toluca vs Puebla Information|
|Teams||Toluca vs Puebla|
|Location||Estadio Nemesio Diez|
|Time||Sunday, April 3 at 1pm EST|
|How to watch||Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes|
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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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