The Mexican Liga MX is starting this coming weekend, with the first Match-day of the Apertura set to take place from Friday to Sunday. Two teams with somewhat opposite runs last season will clash against each other in the premiere, when Veracruz will play host to UNAM Pumas. Veracruz were tragic last season as they finished at the bottom spots on both the Apertura and the Clausura. UNAM Pumas finished last in the Apertura, but did make the playoffs in the Clausura.
Date/Time: 7-20-2018, 20:00 EDT
Spread: Pumas +0.0
Total: 2.25 Goals
Veracruz were pretty bad in both phases of the Liga MX last season, as they finished in the bottom spots on both occasions. They finished 2nd to last in the Apertura (4-11-2), featuring the worst offense in the league (14 goals). In the Clausura they were slightly improved but still finished 3rd to last (5-9-3), and again had the worse offense (12 goals). Los Tiburones Rojos, or the Red Sharks, have a clear problem in the offensive end, and tried to fix that. They were reinforced with Noya (Oaxaca), Ibert Ruiz (Monarcas), Noriega (Queretaro), Abrigo and Carrasco (Audax Italiano). But Veracruz don’t seem like they can make an impact in the league with such a weak team.
On the other hand, UNAM Pumas made a horrible run in the Apertura last season, finishing at the bottom (3-10-4). However, they made a really strong run in the Clausura, as they managed to finish at the 7th spot (6-5-6) and made it to the playoffs. They fell hard Club America in the first round of the playoffs, and really need a good run this season. They lost two very good players in the transfer window, as top scorer Castillo was sold to Benfica, while Jesus Gallardo was sold to Monterrey. UNAM Pumas sent Fuentes (LB) to Tijuana in a swap deal that brought Malcorra (LW) and Juan Iturbe (RW). They also grabbed Mora (CF), Rodriguez (RW) and Cota (LW) from Cruz Azul and Miguel Fraga (GK) from Atlas.
Veracruz defeated Pumas both in the Apertura (0-1 home) and in the Clausura (2-1 away) last season. They have also been pretty solid as hosts against UNAM Pumas over the years (4-3-6), having lost just once over the past decade.
UNAM Pumas lost some players in the transfer window, but brought in some solid talent in order to replace them. They should have a much better Apertura than last season when they finished last. I don’t expect Veracruz to do much this season, while both teams should be really careful in the premiere.
Liga MX Veracruz vs Pumas Prediction: Under 2.25 Goals (-101)
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