Pumas UNAM vs. Atlas – Liga MX, Thursday, December 2, 2021
Pumas UNAM heads into the 2021 Liga MX Apertura semifinals on the back of a shock victory over Club America. Andres Lillini’s men beat the high-flying Eagles 3-1 to book their spot in the last four.
Meanwhile, Atlas advanced on away goals after registering a 1-1 draw with Monterrey. The Guadalajara outfit finished second in the regular-season standings – eight points ahead of eleventh-place Pumas.
The two sides meet for the first leg of their semifinal on Thursday, December 2. If you’re planning to wager on the first leg, I suggest you keep reading.
After discussing the Liga MX odds and analyzing the teams, I will share my Pumas UNAM vs. Atlas prediction and betting pick.
Pumas UNAM vs. Atlas Odds
As you can see, the leading soccer betting sites believe the first leg will be a tight encounter.
With the home-field advantage on their side, the Pumas are marginal favorites. But the narrow odds gap indicates that Atlas will give Lillini’s men a run for their money on Thursday.
Let’s take a closer look at both sides before settling on a prediction and betting pick for Pumas UNAM vs. Atlas.
Can the Pumas Extend Their Impressive Run?
It’s safe to say that Pumas UNAM is a surprise semifinalist.
After finishing just one point inside the top 12, the Pumas were not expected to reach the last four. However, they managed to dispatch the bookies’ Apertura favorite in the previous round.
Following a goalless draw in the first leg, Lillini’s side crushed Club America 3-1 last time out. Washington Corozo bagged a first-half brace before Higor Meritao completed the scoring late on.
Lillini’s men have been scoring goals for fun recently, too. They have netted at least two goals in five of their last eight games, scoring three or more goals on three occasions during that period.
Juan Dinenno has contributed six goals and four assists this season. The Argentine forward has undoubtedly been Pumas UNAM’s biggest threat throughout the campaign.
The Pumas’ overreliance on Dinenno is a slight cause for concern, though. If their star man doesn’t deliver on Thursday, they could have a mountain to climb in the second leg.
Will Atlas Be Too Strong for Lillini’s Side?
Atlas made endured a disappointing end to the regular season, winning just two of the final five games. The Guadalajara club also suffered three losses across the last seven matches.
Still, Diego Cocca’s men managed to secure second place in the standings.
When you look at the bigger picture, the Foxes have lost only four of their 19 Liga MX encounters this season. Better yet, they boast the joint-best defensive record in the league.
- Camilo Vargas (Atlas) – 10
- Guillermo Ochoa (Club America) – 9
- Rodolfo Cota (Club Leon) – 8
- Nahuel Guzman (Tigres UANL) – 8
- Raul Gudino (Guadalajara) – 7
As you can see, Camilo Vargas finds himself atop the clean sheet leaderboard. The Atlas shot-stopper has kept ten clean sheets in 19 matches this term, giving him a shutout rate of 52.6%.
Vargas makes Atlas extremely difficult to beat. If the goalkeeper is at his best on Thursday, Pumas UNAM could struggle to get on the scoresheet.
Prediction for Pumas UNAM vs. Atlas
You can bet your bottom dollar that Thursday’s clash will be a low-scoring affair.
This season, only three of Atlas’ 19 Apertura games have produced over 2.5 goals. The Foxes may boast one of the meanest defenses in the league, but they also struggle to score goals.
Although I expect Pumas UNAM to push Atlas all the way in the first leg, I can see the visitors coming out on top. There is no denying that Atlas is stronger than Pumas.
Even if the Pumas are at their best, getting past Vargas won’t be easy.
Pumas UNAM vs. Atlas Betting Pick
Atlas to Win2.90
I’m backing Atlas to win on Thursday and claim a narrow first-leg advantage. I don’t think we will see many goals in Mexico City, but I’m confident that Atlas’ superiority will shine through.
If you’re planning to wager on the other Apertura semifinal, make sure you check out my betting preview for Tigres UANL vs. Club Leon.