- Nine Mexican League opening weekend fixtures starting Friday until Sunday
- Apertura champions Leon kick off with a big road trip against title favorites Tigres
- See all odds and best bets for Mexico Liga MX Clausura title winners
Mexico’s two-section Liga MX soccer championship resumes this week with the start of the 2020-21 Clausura competition.
Leon – the team widely regarded as the nation’s best outfit – are surprisingly not rated as favorites despite their triumph in the Apertura segment of the league season last month.
Instead, the analysts rate Tigres UANL as favorites at +450 following their 2-1 triumph in the CONCACAF Champions League final against LAFC in Orlando in December.
Mexico Liga MX Clausura Winner Odds
|Atletico San Luis||+7000|
Odds as of Jan. 7
This is a major prize and has earned Tigres a place at the next Club World Cup. They had also been beaten finalists in 2016, 2017, and 2019 which illustrates their strength.
However, Leon were much more impressive in domestic Liga MX action last Autumn and Winter and look the best bet this time around.
Tigres Finished Sixth in Apertura
Tigres finished only sixth in the Apertura regular-season table and crashed out of the playoffs at the first, last eight stage.
Against that, they were the most recent winners of the Clausura championship in 2019 after defeating Leon 1-0 on aggregate in the final.
They also possess one of Liga MX’s most notable strikers, the French veteran Andre-Pierre Gignac, who was the Apertura regular-season leading scorer in 2020 with 14 goals.
The most recent Clausura competition was scrapped in early 2020 amid the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Like the Apertura competition before it, the Clausura has been re-named as the Guardianes 2021 in honor of the work of Mexico’s health professionals during the pandemic.
Leon are rated at +600 even though they finished on top of the regular-season standings in the Apertura competition with just one defeat.
In this edition of the Clausura, Club America and Cruz Azul are priced as joint second favorites at +500.
Just behind them, Leon are rated at +600 even though they finished on top of the regular-season standings in the Apertura competition with just one defeat.
In the playoffs final, Leon scored a 3-1 aggregate win over Pumas UNAM – drawing 1-1 away before winning 2-0 at home.
IT’S OVER! Tigres UANL captures the #CCL title at last after falling in three of the previous four finals, with Andre-Pierre Gignac’s late goal the difference in a 2-1 win over LAFC.
Another final heartbreak for an MLS clubhttps://t.co/vJgtXkxbdS pic.twitter.com/u7Z58kzbNh
— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) December 23, 2020
They will be seeking to match the achievements of the Leon team of the 2013-14 season which was the last side in Liga MX to win back-to-back Apertura and Clausura titles.
The present team has matured into a purposeful attacking side during the two-year reign of coach Ignacio Ambriz.
Leon Seeking Historic Success
Having lifted their first title in six years last month, they are ready to make further history.
Among the highly-favored teams, Cruz Azul performed best in the Apertura section of the campaign last Autumn.
They reached the semifinal of the playoffs but were eliminated by the narrowest of margins following a 4-4 aggregate draw with Pumas UNAM.
Cruz Azul were knocked out because they were seeded lower than Pumas in the knockout section having finished fourth in the regular-season table – with the UNAM side second.
The Cruz outfit begin the Clausura with a new coach, the Peruvian Juan Reynoso, who was formerly in charge of Puebla.
Hopes are high because Reynoso was a player with Cruz Azul when they last won a Liga MX title way back in 1997.
Former Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari has taken command of Club America
Cruz’s fellow Clausura second-favorites America also have a new man in charge.
Former Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari has taken command and it has raised similar hopes to Reynoso’s arrival at Cruz Azul.
The Magic is never lost ???
? Mr. Santiago Solari pic.twitter.com/vmVeXDV604
— Club América EN (@ClubAmerica_EN) January 5, 2021
Argentine international Solari had a decent playing career in Europe with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and Inter Milan so he has major pedigree.
After progressing through the coaching ranks at Real Madrid he was handed control of the team in 2018 and won the FIFA Club World Cup.
Solari has signed Peruvian defensive midfielder Pedro Aquino who was part of Leon’s Apertura-winning team last month.
America have also signed top attacking prospect Alan Medina from Toluca.
In the regular Apertura standings last Autumn, America finished in third place.
But they were eliminated at the first stage of the playoffs when they were beaten 3-1 on aggregate by Chivas Guadalajara.
Monterrey Outside Challengers
Monterrey make up the quintet of teams priced at +600 or below.
But they are unlikely to mount a powerful challenge after finishing fifth in last Autumn’s Apertura standings and then exiting in the re-classification stage played between the teams finishing fifth and 12th.
San Jose Earthquakes have submitted an offer for 32-year-old Argentine striker Milton Caraglio. He plays for Cruz Azul but his contract expires in June. Liga MX club Atlas have also submitted an offer. He is valued at $2 million. (Nico Filomeno) #Quakes74 pic.twitter.com/nlssUunJOP
— MLS Transfer Zone (@MLS_ZONE) January 6, 2021
They lost on penalties against 12th-placed finishers Puebla.
Chivas Guadalajara at +800 and Pumas UNAM at +900 are the teams ranked next by the analysts.
Pick: Leon +600