America’s Andres Ibarguen, right, breaks away from Santos’ Carlos Orrantía, left, during a Mexico soccer league match in Mexico City, Saturday, April 27, 2019. America won 1-0. (AP Photo/Anthony Vazquez)
- Puebla FC face uphill battle as they enter second leg of their Liga MX 2021 Guard1anes semifinal matchup with Santos Laguna as slim home favorites
- Puebla have not posted a win against Santos Laguna since 2004, and face a 3-0 aggregate goal deficit entering the second leg
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday night’s clash at Estadio Cuauhtémoc
Following a devastating loss in the first leg of their Liga MX 2021 Guard1anes semifinal clash with Santos Laguna, Puebla FC will be in desperation mode as they return to the pitch for second leg action as slim +148 favorites.
Puebla stumbled out of the gate on their way to a decisive 3-0 loss, and will need a huge offensive effort to avoid elimination in Sunday night’s clash at Estadio Cuauhtémoc. Riding high following their dominating first leg performance, Santos Laguna looks to their second leg matchup as an attractive +200 bet.
The Verdiblancos are now undefeated in five straight league outings, but have failed to earn the win in each of their past four road contests
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends ahead of the second leg of this 2021 Guard1anes semifinal, which gets underway on Sunday night at 8:00pm ET.
Puebla FC vs Santos Laguna Odds
|Puebla FC vs Santos Laguna||PUE -0.5 (+145) | LAG +0.5 (-195) (||PUE +148 | Tie +205 | LAG +200||Ov 2.5 (+116) | Un 2.5 (-152)|
Odds as of May 23 at DraftKings
Santos Scored Early and Often in First Leg Win
Santos’ long-time domination of Puebla continued in the opening leg of this Liga MX postseason matchup. With a fast, aggressive start clearly part of the game plan, Santos needed less than a minute to open the scoring. The club benefited from a favorable VAR review that overturned a Puebla goal, and celebrated soon after with their second goal of the match, on their way to a decisive 3-0 victory.
Santos 3-0 Puebla
✔Contundente victoria de los guerreros que ponen un pie en la final
✔Doblete del Mudo, incluido uno de vestidor
✔Puebla tuvo sus chances, pero Acevedo anduvo muy bien
✔Ayrton volvió a marcar
✔Nada definido, pero es una GRAN ventaja pic.twitter.com/uZDFOksMsE
— Guerreros Del Santos Laguna (@guerrerosSL) May 21, 2021
In addition to paying out as short -143 favorites, Thursday’s victory extended what has been a dominating run for Santos in head-to-head meetings with Puebla. The Verdiblancos have now avoided defeat in 31 straight clashes with Puebla since 2004, and kept clean sheets in each of their past three meetings.
2021 MLS Cup Odds Tracker
Can Aguirre Maintain Scoring Pace on the Road?
Eduardo Aguirre emerged as the hero in Thursday’s victory. The club’s leading goalscorer this season, Aguirre maintained his recent hot pace by potting each of Santos’ first two goals in Thursday’s victory.
Lalo Aguirre now has 4 goals in his last 4 games.
It didn’t take him long to find the back of the net tonight! #VaPor7i ⭐️#ModoGuerrero 🇳🇬⚔️ pic.twitter.com/TQPLzJjkut
— Club Santos EN (@ClubSantosEn) May 21, 2021
The 22-year-old rising star has now potted seven goals over his past seven match including a trio of multi-goal outings. However, Aguirre has failed to contribute on the road this season, with each of his eight markers to date coming on home turf. With the club likely focused on avoiding getting into a high-scoring affair on Sunday night, there is little value to be found in the +650 odds of Aguirre finding the back of the net in second leg action.
Santos Laguna vs Puebla Head-to-Head Stats
|17 / 7||Torneo Guardianes 2021 Games played (regular season) / Wins||17 / 7|
|5-0 (vs Queretaro)||Biggest win||4-1 (vs Mazatlan)|
|1-2 (vs Leon)||Biggest defeat||1-4 (vs Pumas UNAM)|
Puebla Search for Answers to Offensive Slump
While Santos have filled the net with regularity during their recent surge, Puebla will be looking for ways to boost their moribund attack in Sunday’s contest. The club has managed to score just one total goal while picking up only one victory over their past five matches.
¡¡¡ Primer paso rumbo a la Gran Final !!!@ClubSantos superó a @ClubPueblaMX en el primer episodio de la Semifinal en el TSM Corona. Te mostramos el balance de este compromiso.
¡Regístrate ahora en https://t.co/PigIFB93t5 y recibe $400 🤑 de regalo! 📲 https://t.co/zKScgtX1Wh pic.twitter.com/eeuDxhkhtx
— Liga BBVA MX (@LigaBBVAMX) May 21, 2021
However, Puebla has proven their ability to generate offense previously this season, closing out their Clausura schedule racked fourth in Liga MX in team scoring. That capability was on full display during a 3-1-0 run that started in late March, during which Puebla shooters racked up 14 total goals.
Ormeno Must Step Up
But if Puebla are to have any chance to overcome a wide 3-0 aggregate goal deficit on Sunday night, they will need a bigger contribution from their leading goalscorer Santiago Ormeno.
Tristes por el resultado, pero somos @ClubPueblaMX y no nos rendimos. Necesitamos remar y trabajar todos juntos para intentar remontar la eliminatoria. Hagamos pesar el Cuauhtemoc, juntos todo es posible. Vamos carajo! 🎽💪 pic.twitter.com/um0WJ7GJVq
— Santiago Ormeño (@santorme) May 21, 2021
While the 27-year-old has made an effort to rally fan support on social media ahead of Sunday’s contest, he has been noticeably quiet on the pitch, scoring just once in his past seven overall outings, and just once over his past four appearances on home turf.
These is little indication that Puebla’s current goalscoring swoon is about to end. Indeed, the club is faced with little choice but to play a wide open style on Sunday night. That is likely to be just fine with Santos, who have thrived in high-scoring contests of late. Look for the Verdiblancos to continue their domination of Puebla with yet another victory.
The Picks: Santos Laguna +200; OVER 2.5 (+116)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.