- Four fixtures on Wednesday and Thursday as Clausura section enters last eight playoff phase
- Cruz Azul finished top of the regular-season table and should overcome Toluca
- See all odds, best bets & predictions for Mexico’s Liga MX Clausura Quarterfinals Leg1 below
Mexico’s Liga MX Clausura competition enters its main play-off phase on Wednesday and Thursday with the top four teams from the regular season now joining the fray.
The teams which finished from fifth to 12th have played off in the end-of-season Linguilla “mini-league”.
They now take on the teams which finished from first place to fourth in the two-legged quarterfinals.
Liga MX Clausura Playoff Odds
|Toluca vs Cruz Azul||+250||+235||+110|
|Atlas vs Puebla||-125||+235||+380|
|Pachuca vs Club America||+170||+250||+145|
|Santos Laguna vs Monterrey||+140||+240||+185|
Odds as of May 12 at DraftKings
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Toluca vs Cruz Azul Prediction
Cruz Azul finished on top of the regular season standings and is favored to beat Toluca, which finished 11th.
Despite the big difference in the two teams’ regular-season record, DraftKings offers a surprisingly attractive +110 for a first-leg win by Cruz Azul.
The oddsmakers price Toluca at +250 with the draw at +235.
Toluca advanced from the mini-league playoffs into the last eight by defeating fifth-placed Leon away from home on penalties following a 2-2 draw.
Cruz won 13 of its 17 Clausura fixtures and boasted the best defensive statistics in the competition after conceding only 11 goals.
👀 on the ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/uzMFSabKqt
— CRUZ AZUL (@CruzAzul) May 12, 2021
They should be too strong for Toluca after also matching second-placed Club America as leading goalscorers with 26 strikes.
Furthermore, both those defeats came in the opening two matches of the campaign with a 15-match unbeaten run that following that poor start.
Cruz Azul has also emphasized its good form by advancing to the semifinals of the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League after defeating Toronto FC with a 3-1 Leg 1 victory followed by a further 1-0 success in Leg 2.
There was a 3-2 win for Cruz Azul when these teams last met in February.
— AS English (@English_AS) May 10, 2021
Toluca lost more games than it won to finish 11th in the regular season – with seven defeats, six wins and four draws.
Furthermore, it lost five of its last eight regular-season fixtures.
That form suggests they will struggle against such a comprehensively well-organized side as Cruz Azul with an away victory on the cards.
Pick: Cruz Azul+110
Atlas vs Puebla Prediction
Puebla finished third in the regular season and has beaten seventh-placed Atlas in two of the teams’ last three meetings.
However, Puebla is priced as a tempting wide outsider at +380 for a first-leg away win – an assessment probably prompted by the fact that this side is historically one of Liga MX’s less imposing outfits.
Atlas is rated at an equally surprising but unattractive -125 with the draw at +235, which is also interesting.
Puebla was beaten only three times in the regular season with seven wins and seven draws.
Meanwhile, Atlas reached the last eight with a 1-0 Linguilla victory against 11th-placed Tigres UANL.
Atlas won only twice in the final six regular-season games
It won seven times in the regular season while losing six and drawing on four occasions.
However, it won only twice in the final six regular-season games – not the kind of form which should make them such wide favorites.
I feel the merger of Liga MX and MLS will occur in this decade.https://t.co/KwIbIyZXgB
— Miguel Inclan (@TexasInclan) May 11, 2021
The run-in statistics for Pueba were much more impressive with a six-match unbeaten run featuring three wins and three draws.
In conclusion, these odds for Puebla make them the best offering to continue their good form.
Pick: Puebla +380
Santos Laguna vs Monterrey Prediction
Santos Laguna and Monterrey seem to be set for a tight collision according to the oddsmakers – with a draw their most likely first leg outcome
DraftKings offers an attractive +240 for an all-square finish.
Meanwhile, Santos is a slight favorite at home at +140 with Monterrey at +185.
Monterrey finished fourth in the regular season with eight wins, four draws and five defeats.
Santos, however, finished fifth and entered the Linguilla playoff stage – where they secured their last-eight berth with a powerful 5-0 hammering of Queretaro.
That result appears to have influenced the odds. But Santos won only one of their final six regular-season games.
— EL UNIVERSAL English (@Univ_inenglish) June 14, 2018
There was a 1-0 win at home for Santos against these opponents in February.
The form of Monterrey in the regular season also nose-dived with three defeats in the last four games.
It has, however, reached the semifinals of the CONCACAFChampions League after defeating Columbus Crew – with a 2-2 draw in the USA followed by a 3-0 win at home.
To sum up, a draw is the most likely first leg outcome in this last eight meeting.