The first month of the Liga MX apertura rolls on with a good slate of games this weekend. Let’s take a look at a few of the more interesting matchups on the schedule.
Atlético San Luis vs Mazatlán FC Odds
The early game on the Friday night slate features Atlético San Luis hosting Mazatlán FC. These are two teams that are relatively new to Liga MX which doesn’t have a traditional promotion/relegation format and they’ve typically hovered around or below the playoff line. Atlético has a win against an under-performing Guadalajara side and two losses while Mazatlan picked up a draw in their most recent fixture against Pachuca after dropping its first two games of the young season.
These are two teams who will be in a fight to make it above the playoff line this season so games like this are critical if either hopes to make it into the final phase tournament. To make the tournament winning at home is going to be paramount and given that neither team has shown particular fire power this season and Mazatlán has yet to get a win, they should be playing with a little bit more urgency in the game tonight.
Club Puebla vs Cruz Azul FC
After ending decades of heartbreak in the spring tournament in 2021, Cruz Azul has been a mid table club in the last two tournaments finishing the regular season eighth both times. They’ve won once in three games this season so far and it’s been the defense that has let them down. Cruz Azul has scored six goals this season, which is tied for the second most in the league, and allowed seven goals, which is, you guessed it, second most allowed in the league. Their lone win this year came in the season opener on a penalty kick in the third minute of second half stoppage time against Tigres.
Puebla was eliminated in the quarterfinals in both tournaments in the 2021-22 season, but they’re off to a good start so far in the Apertura. They’re unbeaten in three games with two wins and a draw, although they dropped two points in that draw giving up a late goal to Leon in a game where both teams played with 10 minute for basically the entire second half.
Given that Cruz Azul can score and has been leaky on defense I’d expect to see some goals poured in during this game and Cruz Azul needs a win here so let’s take a bigger shout and hope for some fun.
Cruz Azul win + Both Teams To Score +320
Club América vs Tijuana Odds
Our next game up features one of the giants of Mexican soccer, Club América, hitting the road to face a struggling Tijuana team. Xolos have yet to score a goal from the run of play with their lone goal of the season coming on a penalty kick in a 1-1 season-opening draw against Pumas. Tijuana is in second-to-last place after following up the Pumas draw with a 2-0 loss to Juarez and a 1-0 loss to Tigres.
Club América is in 11th place, but they’ve had a difficult start to the season drawing defending champions Atlas and losing to first-place Monterrey 3-2. Club América has done a bit of barnstorming over the past week playing friendlies in Houston and Las Vegas against English giants Manchester City and Chelsea.
The travel Club América has embarked upon over the past week is a bit concerning heading into a road game on Saturday night, but Xolos are struggling mightily to start the season and Club América should be able to handle business.
Club América -115
Atlas FC vs Tigres de la UANL Odds
The nightcap on Saturday features the defending champs Atlas hitting the road to take on Tigres. It’s been a bumpy start for the defending champions who are 1-1-1 on the season. Their only win of the season came in their last game against Cruz Azul who played down a man the entire second half. Their previous game was a 3-2 loss to Toluca in which they allowed three goals in the first 15 minutes.
Tigres started the season with a 3-2 loss to Cruz Azul on a penalty kick in second half stoppage time before two unconvincing 1-0 wins. Tigres is also dealing with a bit of an injury big with their two high-priced French stars. Andre-Pierre Gignac is dealing with an achilles injury and Florian Thauvin is dealing with a thigh injury. Both players are doubtful for this fixture.
Tigres has been unconvincing in their last couple of games and Atlas has been sluggish to start the season so let’s split the difference here.