Cruz Azul will aim to complete the job and capture its first Mexican Liga MX title since 1997 when it plays Santos Laguna in the Clausura playoff final on Sunday at Estadio Azteca. Cruz Azul won 1-0 on the road on Thursday night and is looking to finish the regular season on a high note by completing a solid run that has put them at the top of the league. Santos Laguna finished sixth in the regular season and boasted one of the most excellent defenses in the league. It is attempting to capture its seventh title, six of which have come since Azul’s most recent victory.
The game will begin at 9:15 p.m. ET in Mexico City. In the latest Santos Laguna vs. Cruz Azul odds from William Hill Sportsbook, Cruz Azul is a 0.5-goal and -104 money-line favorite (risk $104 to win $100), while the total goals scored over-under is 2.5.
Green became a professional sports writer and handicapper after working in the sports betting industry for numerous years. His soccer predictions have been spot-on since then. Since the 2017-18 season, Green has returned approximately $19,000 to $100 bettors. Now, Green has broken down the Liga MX final between Cruz Azul and Santos Laguna.
Why should you support Cruz Azul is a Spanish word that means “blue”.
La Maquina has the advantage, and playing at home will provide even more motivation to end a streak of Liga MX playoff heartbreaks. Cruz Azul is making its ninth final appearance since winning in 1997, and it has reason to believe this is their year. Cruz Azul tied for the league lead with 26 goals dominating the regular season while allowing only 11 goals. However, it has been squeaking by in the playoffs, allowing only three goals in five games and keeping three clean sheets in the process. With 14 clean sheets in 31 games, goalkeeper Jose Corona topped Liga MX with an 81.5 save percentage.
Cruz Azul embarked on a 15-game undefeated streak in the Clausura after losing its first two games, and its lone blemish in the playoffs is a 2-1 loss to Toluca in the first round. The Clausura had a goal difference of plus-15, despite Santos scoring only 18 goals (fourth-fewest in Liga MX) and has failed to score in either of its last two games. With 21 goals in 31 games this season, Jonathan Rodriguez has been the league’s leading scorer, and he has a goal and two assists in the playoffs. Luis Romo scored the game-winning goal on Thursday and now has ten assists in two seasons, tying him for the league record.
Why should you support Santos Laguna?
In the first leg, Los Guerreros dominated the stat sheet, controlling the ball for 65 % of the time and outshooting Azul 16-8. In the regular season, they defeated Cruz Azul 1-0, with Diego Valdes scoring to settle a tense contest, and Thursday’s meeting was no different. Valdes was out for most of the season due to a fractured foot, but he had a goal and assisted in the playoffs. Santos conceded the third-fewest goals in the Clausura with 13, while goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo had 11 clean sheets and a save percentage of 79.6 in 34 games spanning both seasons.
Santos has many scoring alternatives, with ten different players scoring multiple goals in the last two seasons. Eduardo Aguirre and Juan Ferney Otero both had three, with both of them having numerous good chances in the first leg. Santos had plenty of space along the sides to throw crosses into the box, but he couldn’t reach the net’s back. Aguirre, 22, has enjoyed a breakout postseason with five goals, while Ayrton Preciado has three. Fernando Gorriaran led the team with six goals and six assists up the regular season, filling in Valdes’ absence.
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