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Tigres favorites against Puebla as playoffs near

Eduardo Vargas Tigres UANL vs Puebla Betting Odds Preview Liga MX Mexico soccer

It is now or never for Puebla as they visit Tigres UANL in their penultimate match of the 2018 Liga MX Apertura.

After failing to take down a 10-man Chivas side, Puebla are left with no other choice than to win in one of the most imposing stadiums in all of Mexico to have any chance of making the Liguilla. La Franja currently find themselves 10th in the league table with 19 points, and a defeat would likely mean a premature end to their Liga MX Apertura season.

Four points above Puebla are Tigres UANL. The Felinos have had a season full of ups and downs, but following a 2-0 win over Monarcas Morelia, Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s men are virtually a win away from sealing their place in the Liguilla. However, what makes this game so crucial for Tigres is that losing could prove costly ahead of Week 17’s finale, as a number of teams find themselves just one point behind the Felinos in the fight for a playoff spot.

SHARK BITES
  • Six of Puebla’s last seven matches across all competitions have hit the OVER.
  • Puebla has just one win in its last seven matches across all competitions.
  • Seven of Tigres UANL’s last eight home matches across all competitions have hit the OVER, including the last three.

Tigres UANL vs Puebla Game Center

This is a game of high stakes

As previously mentioned, there is a lot riding on this match. Of course, Tigres have been a perennial candidate for the league title in recent seasons, and odds are overwhelmingly in their favor when it comes to making the Liguilla. In fact, Tigres have not failed to reach a Liguilla since the Apertura 2014, making it eight straight playoff appearances for Ferretti and his team.

On the other hand, the same can’t be said about Puebla. Ever since reaching promotion, La Franja have struggled to be a consistent team in the top flight, and the last time they made the Liguilla was in the Apertura 2015 when they crashed out in the quarterfinals against Toluca.

It’s going to take something special to win in Monterrey

Such has been the case all season in Liga MX, Puebla still find themselves with an actual chance of making the Liguilla despite winning just once in their last six Liga MX games. What has given La Franja a fighting chance has been the sheer inconsistency of the rest of the league paired with Puebla’s positive form while playing at home.

Although this match will be played in Tigres’ backyard, it is also worth mentioning that Puebla haven’t been all that bad away from home. They actually demolished Club León a couple of weeks ago and have lost just once in their last four away matches. Tigres have looked vulnerable at home this season, losing twice already in games against Toluca and Club América.

That said, Puebla backers might want to check their ambition. La Franja have just one win in their last seven visits to the Estadio Universitario.

The stats dont lie, Tigres have dominated Puebla

Puebla’s chances of beating Tigres get even smaller when you look at the goal tally between both teams across the last few meetings. In the last five head-to-head matches between Tigres and Puebla, the Felinos have outscored La Franja 14-3. Moreover, Tigres have done a superb job in defending their goal, claiming a clean sheet in nine of their last 13 encounters vs Puebla through all competitions.

My pick...

Liga MX is no stranger to surprises, but there is just too much evidence backing Tigres to grab a result here. By Tigres’ standards, this has been a disappointing regular season, and I’d put my money on them showing up and proving their doubters wrong with a convincing win against Puebla. La Franja will have to wait another season to make the playoffs.

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