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Bold Predictions: Guard1anes 2020 Round 9

Why León’s league-leader status is at risk, and why Pumas unbeaten streak will finally come to an end vs. an unexpected team

Leon v Atlas - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images

With eight complete rounds gone in the Guard1anes 2020 season, as well as almost half the season, the teams in control of the league thus far aren’t surprising. A León squad who took a few weeks to gain momentum, but who have now won four out of their last five stand atop the league table with 17 points. They’re followed closely by the country capital’s three main teams (Pumas, Cruz Azul, and América), all with 16. If anything, Pumas are the Cinderella Story until now, considering the way Michel left the squad just days before kicking off the season and their low expectations in general. At the other side of the table, we don’t see many surprises either, with Atlético San Luis, Mazatlán, and FC Juárez competing for last. However, the fact that Atlas managed to escape the last three is surprising.

With this said, we have a double-feature week coming up which begins today, with the Atlético San Luis vs. Necaxa matchup beginning at 6 ET (5 CT). And just as almost every other week, it brings along another set of BOLD PREDICTIONS:

  • Tigres hand León first loss in six games. Tomorrow at 6 ET (5 CT), León will play hosts to a confused, yet hungry Tigres squad who aren’t used to what has transpired this season. No matter how many leads they take, they seem to evaporate somehow and have been unable to sustain consistent level of play all season. Now on a four-game winless streak, Tigres head to Nou Camp to take on the league-leaders who appear to have found their groove all of a sudden, despite not scoring as much as you’d expect. In these big moments is when Tuca’s side seems to rise to the challenge and show what they are capable of. I expect Tigres to come out and play the kind of intense, fiery matches we know them to play, and complicate things for Ambriz’s side. Whether Tuca plays Leo Fernández or not is up to him and his stubbornness, but I believe the rest of the players have had enough of the mediocrity they’ve shown this season and I expect them to upset the current leaders.
  • Mazatlán get second win of season vs. Tijuana. Xolos are coming off an inspiring victory vs. Rayados last Friday, where they displayed rare quality on the offensive end. Fabián Castillo was unstoppable. Bryan Angulo had his way with Rayados’ defense as well. The defense stifled Rayados potent offense. It was a well rounded, complete game and victory by Tijuana. The problem looming is their inconsistency. Tijuana visit a very troubled Mazatlán team tomorrown night at 10 ET (9 CT), who are tied for the second worst defense in the league (15 goals allowed). With everyone expecting Tijuana to win easily after what they showed vs. Monterrey, Mazatlán will have something else in mind and find a way to prevail in this one. Xolos will drop this game as their usual inconsistency dictates.
  • Pumas lose unbeaten status vs. Santos. Another interesting matchup for this double-feature week occurs tomorrow at 10:06 ET (9:06 CT), as Santos prepare to receive the only remaining unbeaten team in the league; Pumas. While Pumas have now won their last two matches by 3 goals, and Santos find themselves buried in 13th place, many seem to forget that Santos playing in Torreón are a totally different story. They’ve won two and drawn one this season in La Comarca, while their struggles have come on the road. Despite fans not being an issue yet, I predict Santos will find its way around the unbeaten fallacy that is Pumas (4 wins, 4 draws) at home tomorrow night and will finally hand them their first loss of the season which is long overdue, considering their lucky series of results in the first month of the season.