Monterrey v Juarez | Sunday 16th February 2020, 01:06
Our second play from Mexica this weekend features one of the more established names in this part of the world. Monterrey won the CONCACAAF Champions League last season, which earned them a shot in the fairly recent FIFA Club World Cup and they did run Liverpool very close, with Bobby Firmino scored a 91st-minute winner to secure a 2-1 success.
That was then however, and this is now, and Monterrey are gearing up all of their energy into climbing their domestic league standing. Things actually couldn’t be going much worse for them in this Clausura part of the division as they sit bottom after five games, and haven’t recorded a win in that time. They were losing finalists in the Apertura, so they’re certainly experiencing a hangover to some effect.
Juarez therefore will argue that now is the best time to be facing Monterrey as they have as good a time as any to record a historic three points. They did beat Monterrey at home when they last faced one another in September, in what was the first ever league meeting between the two. Off the pitch these two clubs are worlds apart, but Juarez are currently eight-points ahead and proudly sit third in the table.
It is now five unbeaten in league and cup for Juarez, and four of those saw them win. This includes going away to Club America and winning 3-1, and when you consider Club America won the Apertura and are the most successful club in Liga MX history then it does suggest that this Juarez side are one to taken very, very seriously. This club was only founded in 2015 so they’re been on an upward trajectory for a few years now.
Monterrey are very, very short odds to win this game and the bookies are essentially playing on the hope of Monterrey actually getting their act together. That is all well and good, but current form makes this one of the ugliest possible plays. Of course, they could, and probably will, turn things around eventually, so that is why I’d avoid the side market in this one.
There is a good goals angle to approach however and Both Teams To Score at 10/11 (Betway) looks a brilliant little play to get involved with. Four of Monterrey’s last five in the league has seen this pay out, and three of Juarez’s last four.
Monterrey have just one home league clean sheet since last August, and Juarez has only failed to score twice on the road in league action in the same period of time. The value call is very much BTTS.
Lanus v Newell’s Old Boys | Sunday 16th February 2020, 22:40
We will stay in this part of the world for our second play of the weekend and we have an attractive-looking contest on our hands in the form of Lanus versus Newell’s Old Boys. This is a top seven encounter and there is only a three point difference between the two. Newell’s are one of the more well-known clubs at this level, but Lanus go into this sitting in third and are enjoying something of a purple patch.
Lanus have certainly been very tough to beat this season, as only four teams have managed to do so out of 19 attempts. Only one of those came at home, where they have a very impressive record. In fact, they’ve only lost once at home in the league since November 2018. Even more impressive is that they’ve only drew three in that time, and the rest in that lengthy period of time have been wins.
Newell’s are going pretty well themselves thanks to a five match unbeaten streak which does include three draws. They did lose four in the five prior to that, so they’re certainly turned a corner and are starting to look more like themselves again. There are big similarities between these two teams in how they play, which is why I do anticipate quite a close encounter on Sunday night.
Combined, these two have 19 clean sheets between them, so Lanus and Newell’s know how to keep the door very much firmly shut. They both at least scored in 14 of their 19 league matches as well, so they’re certainly not too shabby going forward. They are both positioned in the top five in terms of goals scored, but they’ve not been blowing teams out the water by any stretch.
Lanus did have a midweek Copa Sudamericana tie that they won comfortably, so that shouldn’t really have a massive effect on them this weekend from a negative perspective. The overriding feeling from myself is that this could easily end in a draw as I do foresee situations where both cancel each other out. The numbers suggest this may be low-scoring, as well.
Winning 3-0 during the week was the first time a Lanus match has finished Over 2.5 Goals since all the way back in November, having been mostly involved in 0-0s, 1-0s, 1-1s and 2-0s. The last three for Newell’s has ended under this amount, too, and they won’t want this game to be so open going away to a venue where the hosts are generally dominate.
I do feel Lanus are the team to side with here, but we have to afford Newell’s the respect they deserve, despite an inconsistent W2-D4-L3 away league record this season. Lanus Double Chance and Under 3 Goals at 20/23 (Bet365) on the bet-builder looks a worthwhile call in what is likely to be a tight match.