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LAFC vs Tigres UANL Odds and Preview: CONCACAF Champions League Final

Paul Attfield

by Paul Attfield in Soccer

Dec 21, 2020 · 9:46 AM PST

Los Angeles FC forward Danny Musovski
Los Angeles FC forward Danny Musovski (16) clears the ball from his goal on a corner kick as he goes up against Club America defender Sebastian Caceres, right, during the first half of a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
  • LAFC are the first MLS club to reach Champions League final since Toronto FC two years ago
  • Tigres UANL have lost three of the past four Champions League finals and have never won the competition
  • Read on for a full preview, betting odds and a best bet for Tuesday’s game

If the odds are against Bob Bradley’s Los Angeles FC in beating Mexico’s Tigres UANL and joining DC United and the Los Angeles Galaxy as the only Major League Soccer teams to claim CONCACAF supremacy, his team has seemed quite comfortable upsetting the odds.

In getting to Tuesday’s final LAFC are the first team in MLS to eliminate three Mexican sides along the way, most recently in Saturday’s 3-1 semifinal victory over Club America. That win earned them a shot at a fourth, with a first-ever meeting against three-times runners-up Tigres UANL on Tuesday, December 22, at 10:00 pm ET.

The winner will not only claim the silverware and bragging rights, but also a coveted berth in the rescheduled 2020 FIFA Club World Cup, and will take on the likes of UEFA Champions League winner Bayern Munich this coming February in Qatar. Regulation odds and our preview can be found below. As for outright odds, Tigres are tipped as slight favorites to win the match by any means at -117, with LAFC is listed at -112.

LAFC vs Tigres UANL Odds

Matchup Spread Moneyline (Regulation) Total (Regulation)
LAFC vs Tigres UANL LA +0.5 (-195) | UANL -0.5  (+143) LA +165 | UANL +145
DRAW +260
Ov 2.5 (-139) | Un 2.5 (+102)

All odds taken Dec. 21 at DraftKings

History Weighs Against LAFC

Since the CONCACAF Champions Cup tournament began in 1962, including since it morphed into the Champions League in 2008, Mexican clubs have claimed ultimate victory on 35 occasions. United States/MLS clubs have done so exactly twice, most recently in 2000, eight years before the current Champions League format was born.

Since then three MLS clubs have reached the final, and fallen at the last hurdle each time. Real Salt Lake lost 3-2 on aggregate to Monterrey in 2011, the Montreal Impact fell 5-3 to Club América In 2015, and most agonizingly of all, Toronto FC lost 4-2 on penalties to Guadalajara in 2018, and two years on, Michael Bradley’s skied penalty has likely still yet to reach the apex of its trajectory.

So in its third season of existence, LAFC will have it all to do if it is to add another piece of silverware to go with last year’s Supporters’ Shield.

LAFC Showing Resilience

Unlike some of their MLS Cup playoff showings, where they have meekly bowed out to sometimes inferior opponents, LAFC have shown a real backbone in this CONCACAF Champions League run. Not only have they achieved an MLS first in eliminating three Mexican clubs along the way, but on each occasion, they have come from behind to do so.

LAFC recovered from a 2-0 first-leg hole against Club Leon to win the home leg at Banc of California Stadium 3-0 to advance. Then with the resumption of the tournament with single-legged ties following the COVID-19 pandemic pause, they bounced back from an early goal against to win 2-1 against Cruz Azul, before overcoming a 1-0 halftime deficit on Saturday to run out a 3-1 winner.

LAFC vs Tigres UANL Champions League Stats

Tigres UANL

8 Goals Scored 13
4 Goals Against 4
28 Shots on Target 33
14.6% Shooting Percentage 15.8%
88.8% Passing Percentage 83.8%
351.5 Average Passes Per Game 477.2
73 Fouls Committed 55

Vela, Gignac In Spotlight

Going into Tuesday’s final, the spotlight is clearly on the No. 1 strikers for both teams, who just so happen to be tied for the CONCACAF Champions League goalscoring lead with five apiece.

Carlos Vela needs little introduction to fans of LAFC and those of MLS as a whole. The Mexican has scored 62 goals in 79 games for Los Angeles, for a 0.79 goals-per-game average, and has five of LAFC’s eight Champions League goals this season.

André-Pierre Gignac is almost as prolific. As Tigres’ all-time top scorer, he has 142 goals in 242 games, and he has scored two goals in the club’s three previous trips to the Champions League final. The Frenchman is also the team’s all-time top scorer in the Champions League, with 13 goals in 22 games. He scored a pair of penalties in Tigres’ 3-0 semifinal win over CD Olimpia of Honduras.

Of his five goals this campaign, three were penalties, and interestingly, all were scored between the 15th and 60th minutes of games.

I’m giving the edge to LAFC in this one to break the poor streak of MLS sides in the finals of this competition. They will as well, for what it’s worth, have a “home” advantage, with the match being played in the United States at Exploria Stadium in Orlando.

Pick: LAFC (+165)

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