Club Leon vs. Toronto FC – CONCACAF Champions League, April 7, 2021
Toronto FC heads to Mexico on Wednesday, April 7, as Club Leon hosts the Reds in the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16.
Chris Armas could barely have dreamed of a tougher test for his first competitive match as TFC head coach. After all, Leon is the clear favorite to win the first leg, leaving Toronto as the rank outsider.
I assess the odds before giving my Club Leon vs. Toronto FC prediction and pick.
Club Leon vs. Toronto FC Odds
It is no real surprise that the Mexican champions are expected to beat Toronto on Wednesday. I mean, the Reds haven’t played a competitive game since November, while Leon is coming towards the end of the Liga MX campaign.
Having said that, Leon has struggled for consistency this season. Armas’ men may be quietly confident of upsetting the odds at even the top online sports betting sites.
Assessing Club Leon’s Form
The Green Bellies only lost one of their 17 Apertura games en route to clinching the title last year, but their Clausura campaign is not going to plan.
Ignacio Ambriz’s men have already suffered six defeats in 13 matches this term and currently find themselves eighth in the Mexican top-flight – 16 points behind first-place Cruz Azul.
However, Leon heads into Wednesday’s clash on the back of three straight wins. Having seen off Necaxa, Santos Laguna, and Toluca in recent weeks, the team appears to have hit form at just the right time.
It is worth noting that Leon has only managed to score 15 goals in 13 league games this season, although Ex-Arsenal forward Joel Campbell is a significant threat for the Mexican champions.
Ambriz’s men can take confidence from the fact that they have won each of their previous three matches. Still, they will need to be wary of Toronto’s attacking threat.
Toronto FC Team Analysis
Ahead of the 2021 MLS campaign, Toronto has played a couple of pre-season friendlies – picking up two wins and scoring a combined total of seven goals in the process.
After cruising past Fort Lauderdale 3-0, the Reds beat MLS Cup champs Columbus 4-2. Patrick Mullins scored in both matches, while Jozy Altidore, Alejandro Pozuelo, and Michael Bradley also got on the scoresheet.
We may only be two games into Armas’ tenure, yet it seems as though the new TFC head coach has been able to implement his favored high-pressing approach.
The Reds have never faced Leon before, although their record against Mexican teams is worth considering. Indeed, they have only managed to win three of their 15 competitive matches against Mexican opposition.
It is almost impossible to gauge exactly how Toronto will fare on Wednesday, although Armas’ men are likely to find it difficult to compete for 90 minutes.
My Club Leon vs. Toronto FC Betting Pick
Club Leon to Win1.65
Having considered everything, I’m confident that Leon will gain a first-leg advantage. Yes, the Mexican champions’ form has fluctuated this season, but they have clearly upped their game of late.
Ultimately, a lack of competitive action in recent months is likely to work against TFC. The Reds will almost certainly struggle to get up to speed and maintain the required level of intensity to avoid defeat on Wednesday.