Puebla will make a short one-hour trip up the autopista to the Capital to take on Club America in Estadio Azteca. Las Aguilas have struggled the past two months and now find themselves in danger of falling out of the bottom eight. Will they earn a needed victory against woeful Puebla? Does the market present any value?
Get right spot
When Las Aguilas take the pitch at Estadio Azteca on Saturday evening, it will have been a full 28 days since they last played at home in a 4-1 victory over Chivas. At the time, the victory served as a reprieve.
The preseason favourites to win Liguilla stormed out of the gates. They acquired national icons Ochoa and Dos Santos in what was the most prominent press splash we have seen from a Mexican club in some time.
A span of five victories in six matches put them higher above their goal expectation than any team in the country for the past two seasons. Then trouble hit. From August 24th to that match on September 28th, America went six full games without earning a victory. Everything seemed right as America exploded with 26 shot attempts and four goals.
Then, in the following matches they were embarrassed by rival Cruz Azul and salvaged a 2-2 draw against Necaxa last week with a last-minute goal. With just four matches remaining in the Apertura, this match is the season in many ways.
With two teams directly behind them playing Toluca and Veracruz, America needs to keep pace to avoid putting their spot in the top eight in jeopardy.
Where is the production?
Puebla, in many ways is the perfect opponent to face in a get right spot after a long time away from Azteca.
Los Camoteros are ahead of only Veracruz in the league but do little to pressure opponents. In total this season, Puebla has led for just 8% of their minutes played, just 1% better than the historically bad Veracruz.
An extremely inconvenient midweek Copa MX match which requires the club to travel three hours north to Hermosillo puts a damper on their preparation time, too. Tuesday to Thursday are wasted to game and travel time, which effectively leaves one day of preparation for the club ahead of their match with America.
Peruvian manager Juan Reynoso has proven to be a failure in many ways. Hired with the expectancy of generating an attack, Puebla enters the 14th week with the third-lowest goal tally. The team created just 1.15 expected goals per match, and only Canadian Lucas Calvallini has scored more than two goals.
The rigid 4-5-1 will be easy to defend for America, which in turn will allow Herrera to be much more aggressive in approach. This match will ultimately come down to the ability of Vikonis to keep the top three of the 4-2-3-1 of America from scoring at will.
What is the market situation?
The price of this match opened at 1.67, which implies a win probability for America of 60%. The price will draw the attention of bettors in the market. Expect it to increase as kickoff approaches. Bettors can find value early on these odds, but can also seek additional value on the -0.75 handicap.