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Toluca seeks to maintain dominance over Pumas UNAM

Pedro Canelo Toluca vs Pumas UNAM Betting Odds Preview Liga MX Mexico soccer

Home-field advantage could be on the line as Toluca plays host to Pumas UNAM in the penultimate week of action of the Liga MX regular season.

The Diablos Rojos arrive on the back of a 1-1 draw with Club América and now have the task of taking on another Mexico City side, Pumas UNAM. The Universitarios are fresh off a 2-1 defeat to Cruz Azul in what was their first defeat in their last nine Liga MX games.

Both teams are tied in points with 26, and though they aren’t officially qualified to the Liguilla just yet, it would take something out of the ordinary to see one of these teams not finishing in a top-eight position.

SHARK BITES
  • The OVER has hit in three of Pumas UNAM’s last five Liga MX matches away from home.
  • Deportivo Toluca has won its last four Liga MX head-to-head meetings vs Pumas UNAM.
  • The OVER has hit in each of Pumas UNAM’s last five visits to Deportivo Toluca’s home stadium.

Toluca vs Pumas UNAM Game Center

Both teams want home-field advantage 

As things stand, the Diablos Rojos and Pumas UNAM would face off in a potential Liguilla quarterfinal, with the Universitarios hosting the return leg at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario. That’s reason enough for Toluca to win this match. Overtaking Pumas UNAM in the league table would mean that the Diablos Rojos would most likely play the return leg of the quarterfinals at the Estadio Nemesio Diez, where the numbers overwhelmingly favor Hernan Cristante’s men. Toluca has lost just once this season at home, and that sole defeat has been the only stumble from the Diablos Rojos at the Estadio Nemesio Diez in 20 Liga MX matches.

Toluca has been a tough ask for Pumas in recent seasons

As ever, history plays a huge part in Liga MX, and although it’s a league full of unpredictability, history almost always tends to more or less paint a picture of how a game might turn out. In this case, Toluca has been absolutely dominant over Pumas UNAM. In fact, Toluca has lost just twice across its last 12 meetings with the Universitarios.

The numbers are even more favorable for Toluca at the Estadio Nemesio Diez. Pumas has not won a game in Toluca’s stadium since 2013, accumulating a total of six games without a win there as the visiting team. In total, Pumas UNAM has just two wins in Toluca territory since 2004.

The big catch here and the reason to be optimistic if you are a Pumas UNAM fan or backer is that the Universitarios have been the best team this season away from home. Outside the Estadio Olimpico Universitario, Pumas has lost just once in this Apertura, in a tough away match against then second-place Monterrey.

There’s a good chance we will see an OVER

A big part of the story between these two teams is that they have a pattern of high-scoring matches. Make no mistake about it, this one looks to be headed in the same direction. Eight of the last 10 head-to-head meetings between these teams have hit the OVER.

At the same time, we are talking about two of the most efficient sides in this Apertura. Toluca and Pumas are tied for second-best attacking side in the tournament with 27 goals.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that each one of Toluca’s last seven Liga MX matches at home has hit the OVER, with an average of 3.5 goals scored per game across those seven matches.

My pick...

As far as I can tell, this game looks to be headed in favor of the Diablos Rojos. Pumas UNAM has been notoriously bad at the Estadio Nemesio Diez, and I can’t picture that changing any time soon. I’m going for a Toluca victory and a final score going OVER the total.

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