- Necaxa vs Cruz Azul, Liga MX Apertura
- October 4, 2023
- 9 PM EST
- Estadio Victoria, Aguascalientes, Mexico
In this late weeknight matchup, Cruz Azul takes on Necaxa in a Liga MX battle at the bottom. Considered one of the first modern stadiums, Necaxa have made Estadio Victoria their home since moving out of Mexico City. Now the club hosts one of their former capital rivals Cruz Azul, who currently share their place in last. Which team will shake off their woes and return to the winning column? Continue reading for a prediction of this Necaxa vs Cruz Azul game and discover betting odds, tips, stats and much more.
Necaxa vs Cruz Azul Prediction: Who Do Sportsbooks Think Will Win?
Necaxa is a slight underdog despite playing in front of home fans on Wednesday. The club is priced at (+225) to secure the maximum haul. Conversely, Cuatro Grandes member Cruz Azul boasts a line of (+130) as visitors. A draw would pay bettors (+252). To better understand the 3-way moneyline (1X2) market, see our tips for soccer betting.
Liga MX: Los Cuatro Grandes and a Divided Season
Liga MX is similar to the Saudi Pro League and many other smaller soccer leagues across the world. These domestic competitions are typically dominated by a small group of elite clubs, who are the most popular, successful, and financially supported. In Mexico, these clubs are Club America, Chivas Guadalajara, Cruz Azul and Pumas UNAM, with only Chivas located outside of the capital. They represent Los Cuatro Grandes and are well respected across the globe.
The season is divided into two tournaments: Apertura and Clausura. Clubs compete in the league to earn qualification for the liguilla. So after one calendar year, two champions are crowned. This exciting format adds relevance to each game, with results more valuable than in other leagues whose seasons last from the fall to late spring.
How is Cruz Azul Doing This Season?
Cruz Azul approach this game with confidence following an impressive victory against San Luis. Despite their opponent making a strong push early with numerous scoring opportunities, Cruz Azul remained strong. At the onset of the second half, Cruz Azul managed to break the deadlock and take the lead at the 52-minute mark. San Luis recovered to level the scoreline in the 70th minute, before Cruz Azul struck the winning blow late.
Overall, the club’s performance this campaign has been characterized by inconsistency, marked by losses at home but commendable results in away games. Notably, Cruz Azul has remained unbeaten in their last three away matches, showcasing their mettle on the road. This ability to secure crucial points, especially in away fixtures, underscores their potential for success in future encounters.
Slow Playstyle Not Enough in Liga MX
Necaxa’s propensity to slow games down and try to keep scoring at a minimum has been good enough for draws, but not wins. While the team has gone four straight games without losing, they only have 6 points to show for it. This playstyle is not a great fit for a league like Liga MX, which prizes goal scoring ability. It’s not surprising the Aguascalientes residents have found themselves at the bottom of the table.
In fact, Necaxa has only two multi-goal games since February 15. A horrific drought like this one is difficult for teams to climb out of without a change in manager. Whether for a change in pace, boost in morale, or simply to use a scapegoat, managerial changes are typically beneficial in the short term.
Necaxa Front Office: A Downright Mess
Unfortunately, the old managerial switcheroo tactic may have been exhausted. Necaxa has now had 4 different managers in the last 5 months, and no success is in sight for all their troubles. The front office has been in complete shambles as well. Controversial general manager José Hanan has performed poorly in assembling the team’s roster, and further tarnished the club’s reputation by instigating a brawl with Atlético de San Luis officials during a summer friendly match.
The tipping point might have been Necaxa’s handling of an offer from Barcelona for the promising young talent Heriberto Jurado as the transfer window came to a close. Despite interest from the Spanish giants, Necaxa refused to budge from its steep asking price of $10 million dollars. This decision stands in stark contrast to Cruz Azul, who managed to sell Santiago Giménez – a key player for the team – to Feyenoord for $8 million dollars just last year.
Necaxa vs Cruz Azul Prediction and Free Betting Pick
While Necaxa is the home side, they have been terrible and a stretch of close draws does not convince me things have gotten any better. Necaxa are a poorly run organization that will need time – and most importantly – change, to improve their place in the table.
Cruz Azul have struggled this season also, but the underlying statistics tell a different story. Expected goals for the team indicate a more potent offense than what is reflected in the box score. Additionally, they have suffered from some bad luck on defense as well. In total, Cruz Azul have endured a -0.54 expected goals per game differential compared to actual results. Expected goals are a great tool to make good soccer betting picks and predictions.
I think Cruz Azul are the worthy favorite despite making the trip to Aguascalientes, and should be near – money here. At a market-best price of (+130) at highly-rated online sportsbook Betonline, we are getting a very playable line on Cruz Azul to take home all 3 points. I think this is a great spot to take advantage and possibly earn money off sportsbooks who are putting too much stock in a recent Necaxa win over also-bad Santos.
Take Cruz Azul to continue their away success and defeat a reeling Necaxa side.
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