Club America is the favorite to win the Apertura 2018
This is a translation of an article that originally appeared on ESPN Deportes.
The Apertura 2018 Liguilla, or regular season, is now over after 17 weeks of matches for each of the teams in the Liga Bancomer MX, and now that the quarterfinal matchups are set, Club America appears perched as the favorite to win the title for the winter semester.
The team, led by former Mexican national team coach Miguel Herrera, finished in second place with 33 points and a goal difference of +16, the best in the league. According to FiveThirtyEight, Club America is the favorite to lift the title with a 24 percent chance of victory.
Tigres has the second best chance of winning (22 percent) while Cruz Azul, the club that won the Liguilla of Apertura 2018 with a grand total of 36 points, only has a 14 percent chance of winning the title, according to FiveThirtyEight. Cruz Azul's quarterfinal opponent, Queretaro, only has a three percent chance of winning out.
Following them, Santos Laguna and Monterrey both have 11 percent chances of lifting the trophy, while Toluca has an eight percent chance and Pumas has a seven percent chance.
In the first legs of the quarterfinal matchups, Toluca, Monterrey and Tigres -- all home teams -- look like the favorites to gain the upper hand in their matchups. As for the matchup between Cruz Azul and Querétaro, both have 35 percent chances of winning with a 30 percent chance of a tie.
For the second legs, the only visiting team that appears to have a better chance of emerging victorious is Tigres, (41 percent chance of victory vs. 31 percent chance of victory for Pumas). The other three matchups favor the hosts (Cruz Azul, Santos Laguna, and Club América).
However, the prognostications from the analysts at Futbol Picante differ from FiveThirtyEight's predictions. Analysts Jose Ramon Fernandez, Jorge Pietrasanta and Mario Carrillo all are thinking about a possible upset of Club America at the hands of Toluca. Meanwhile, analysts Ricardo Puig and Felipe Ramos Rizo think that Club America will emerge unscathed.
The matchups begin on Wednesday, Nov. 28th and Thursday, Nov. 29th with the first legs and wrap up with the second legs on Saturday, Dec. 1st and Sunday, Dec. 2nd.