It is the second last matchday of the Apertura and teams are fighting to make the elimination round. Despite being one of the best teams in the country, Leon must earn a victory to remain in the top eight. Is there value with the home side, or will Toluca come out on top?
Low market confidence in Toluca
The market is loosing confidence in Toluca. Currently sitting in 17th in the table, Los Diablos Rojos are dangerously close to embarrassment narrowly ahead of Puebla and two wins ahead of Veracruz. To say that production has been lacking is an understatement.
The side led by Ricardo La Volpe have scored just 14 goals in this season in 16 matches. The play within the 90 minutes has been horrific as well. Only one player (Felipe Pardo) has more than two goals on the season.
The expectancy numbers make a clear case as well. No team generates fewer expected goals per match than Toluca at 0.70 per match. This team is absolutely lifeless, and opponents are starting to take advantage of this.
In the two matches they played last week against Guadalajara and Tigres, Toluca managed to generate just 10 shot attempts in 180 minutes. Of those 10 shot attempts, just two were on target and not one had a goal expectancy higher than 0.25.
Without a true finisher, the team lacks any threat to hold opposing defences back. Ricardo La Volpe would like to play in a 4-2-3-1 formation and play up the wings, but he is continuously restricted by his personnel.
It would be an impossible scenario not to imagine Leon finishing in the top eight and earning a spot to play for the title.
Due to the competition within Liga MX, this is a very real possibility should Leon not earn a victory here at home vs. Toluca.
Leon is just three points clear of Monarcas and Tijuana, who currently occupy seventh and eighth spot. Both teams below Leon have easy matches against inferior competition. The season is on the line for arguably the best club in Mexico.
Leon is second to only leaders Santos in terms of production per match. Leon generates 1.75 expected goals per 90 minutes and have scored just three fewer goals than the leaders.
After playing three matches in ten days to end the month, Leon was forced into action on three days’ rest for their fourth match in two weeks against Monarcas. Manager Nacho Ambriz elected to play a secondary lineup and removed Mena, Sosa and Campbell midmatch.
Reserve player Jown Cardona was shown a red card late in the match and the match ultimately ended in a draw.
The schedule simply became too much. Now with their first full week of rest since September 27th, this match is set up for Leon to secure their spot in the final eight.
Betting market analysis
Leon opened as a short favourite of 1.66 (60.2% implied probability). Bettors should anticipate this price to continue to drift down. Leon is getting sold short a bit after their past two matches that have ended in a loss and a draw.
This match sets up extremely well as their weakness this season have been on the backline. Getting the least efficient attack in Mexico allows them to focus on the attack pushing forward. Expect Nacho to play with Sosa and Macias upfront and rely on a 4-4-2 look to take advantage of the Toluca back four, especially up the wings.
This is a mismatch from the numbers and on-field analysis perspective. Bettors can find value with the home side at 1.66 or higher.