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Liga MX Update: Club América has momentum on its side

Alex Ibarra Club America Cruz Azul Odds to win 2018-19 Liga MX Apertura

Ahead of what is certainly going to be a historic Liga MX final, Las Águilas del América are once again favored to win the 2018 Liga MX Apertura title.

Club America is listed as the -180 favorite, while fellow finalist Cruz Azul has a price of +140 on the oddsboard.

Las Águilas del América always garner respect when it comes to the Liguilla. Some teams always find a way to win and, historically speaking, América is one of them. Along with Chivas Guadalajara, Club América is the winningest team in Liga MX history with 12 league tiles and is arguably the most successful team in all of the CONCACAF region.

But respect alone isn’t why the team comes into this final as the favorite to secure the title. Las Águilas emerged from the semifinals after accomplishing a soul-crushing 6-1 win over local rivals Pumas UNAM. Miguel Herrera’s side was ruthless from start to finish and came out firing on all cylinders, in a game many thought was going to be decided by the narrowest of margins.

Beyond it being a statement win from Las Águilas, it also helped continue the momentum the team has been carrying for more than three months now. Herrera’s men have been on an absolute tear in this Apertura and haven’t lost a Liga MX match since the month of August. Their last defeat came in Week 6 against Club León, making it 15 straight Liga MX games without a defeat for América.

This Cruz Azul team feels different

While Club América has been the oddsmakers’ darlings throughout the season, Cruz Azul has been proving doubters wrong over and over again and is now just two games away from possibly winning its first Liga MX title in more than 21 years.

For so long, Cruz Azul fans have been expecting big things from their team, only to be left disappointed at the very end. But this time feels different for La Máquina. The team finished the regular season as the top seed and showed the kind of character so many of the Cruz Azuls of years past lacked. Coach Pedro Caixinha has not only revolutionized the club’s style of play, but he has instilled a level of mental fortitude that only the great championship-winning teams of the past possess. This was perfectly on display against Monterrey in the semifinals, where Cruz Azul went down 1-0 in the series, missed a penalty early in the second leg and was still able to recover to win the tie.

Opposing forces

There are two big elements to take into account for this final. The most obvious is that there is a bit of a revenge factor, given that these two teams last met in a final in 2013. Against all odds, Club América went on to win that final, thanks to a last-minute header from its goalkeeper. It was an absolutely heartbreaking defeat for La Máquina, which marked a before and after in the history of this rivalry.

It also gave Club América the historical edge over Cruz Azul in Liga MX finals. This will be the fourth time these teams have met in a Liga MX final, the most of any two teams in Liga MX history. Of the last three meetings, Club América has won two.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that this Liga MX final will bring together the best offense vs the best defense. Club América was the highest-scoring team throughout the regular season with 33 goals. Meanwhile, Cruz Azul finished with the best defense, allowing only 13 goals through 17 matches. These are two teams with very fundamentally different ways of seeing the game and that’s what makes this one of the most fascinating finals in recent Liga MX history.

ODDS TO WIN 2018-19 LIGA MX Apertura

Odds as of December 11 at Bovada

  • Club América -180
  • Cruz Azul +140

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