Mazatlan will be looking to break their seven-game winless streak in Liga MX when they host Cruz Azul at the Estadio de Mazatlan on Friday.
The hosts fell to a 1-0 loss against Atletico San Luis in their previous league outing and they remained in 17th place in the league standings. Cruz Azul returned to winning ways in the league with a 1-0 home win against Atlas last week.
They faced local rivals Pumas UNAM in the first leg fixture of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday. They suffered a 2-1 loss in the away leg, with Juan Ignacio Dinenno bagging a first-half brace. They are back in action in the competition next Tuesday, so might choose to rotate their squad for this routine league game.
Mazatlan vs Cruz Azul Head-to-Head
The two sides have met just three times in league fixtures so far. All the games in this fixture have produced conclusive results, with two wins for the visitors and the hosts coming out on top once.
Cañoneros have hosted La Máquina just once, with that game ending in a 3-2 win for the visiting side. In their previous meeting, Mazatlan secured a 2-0 win at the Estadio Azteca in the opening fixture of the 2021-22 Apertura campaign.
Mazatlan form guide (Liga MX): L-D-L-L-D
Cruz Azul form guide (all competitions): L-W-L-D-W
Mazatlan vs Cruz Azul Team News
On-loan striker Nicolás Benedetti left the field with a blow to the head following a clash with Jair Diaz in the previous game and is not expected to make it to the squad for the game.
Injuries: Nicolás Benedetti
There are no injury concerns for the capital club, as Shaggy Martínez and club captain Jesus Corona are back in training. Romelu Otero and Luis Ángel Mendoza were left out of the squad for the Champions League game but will likely return to the squad here.
Juan Escobar will return from a one-game suspension and is expected to be included in the starting XI for the game.
Mazatlan vs Cruz Azul Predicted XI
Mazatlan Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Nicolas Vikonis (GK); Carlos Vargas, Oswaldo Alanís, Néstor Vidrio, Nicolás Díaz; Jefferson Intriago, Roberto Meraz; Iván Jared Moreno, Marco Fabián, Brian Rubio; Gonzalo Sosa
Cruz Azul Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Jose de Jesus Corona (GK); Ignacio Rivero, Pablo Aguilar, Luis Abram, Juan Escobar; Erik Lira, Rafael Baca; Uriel Antuna, Christian Tabó, Carlos Alberto Rodriguez; Santiago Gimenez
Mazatlan vs Cruz Azul Prediction
Only Toluca (23) have conceded more goals than the hosts (21) this season, while their tally of 12 goals is also the third-worst in the league. Cruz Azul boast a decent away record this term, with only one of their four defeats coming in their travels.
The game will likely end in a low-scoring draw as the visitors will have an eye on their crucial second-leg fixture in the Champions League and might play conservatively here.
Prediction: Mazatlan 1-1 Cruz Azul