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Possible Toluca starting line-up vs Pachuca in the Liga MX final first leg

Toluca will be looking to gain a first leg advantage when they welcome Pachuca to Estadio Nemesio Díez on Thursday.

Jorge Torres (L) of Toluca celebrates with Colombian teammate Andres Mosquera after scoring a goal against America during their Mexican Apertura football tournament semifinal match at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on October 22, 2022. (Photo by Claudio CRUZ / AFP)

The Liga MX Apertura 2022 final brings together two clubs with the best record in short tournaments. Toluca host the first game of the two-legged final aiming to continue their impressive run of results and go into Sunday’s decider with some kind of advantage. The Red Devils have found the net in all nine of their last league games - the last time they failed to score was in the goalless draw with Guadalajara on 5 September. After eliminating top seeds América in the last round, they have their sights set firmly on the trophy.

Their rivals Pachuca have been equally as prolific in attack, firing five past Monterrey in their semi-final although they have struggled on the road. Nevertheless, in recent times, goals have not been in short supply whenever these two teams meet - just once in the last eight meetings has this fixture failed to produce any goals at all.

That suggests that coach Nacho Ambríz will opt for an attacking 4-3-3 system in Thursday’s first leg. This will be the fifth final of his coaching career; so far he has won three and lost one. The coach appeared relaxed and confident in his pre-match press briefing, telling reporters, “We’re at home, we have to make the most of that, knowing that it’s not going to be easy. But in one way or another, we have been growing in confidence, in spirit, determination and with the dream we have. We will need to put in a great game - if we really want to get a favourable result to take into the second game, we will need to play a perfect game”.

Toluca go into the final as underdogs and their status is underscored by an ominous stat - they have not won the home leg of a final in 20 years The last choricero home win in a final was in the Apertura 2002 when they thrashed Morelia 4-1.

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Four players: Jean Meneses, Claudio Baeza, Haret Ortega and Leonardo Fernández are all on four bookings and one yellow card away from missing Sunday’s deciding game.

Toluca possible starting XI

Volpi; Mosquera, Ortega, Huerta, Angulo; Fernández, Baeza, Ruiz; González, Navarro and Meneses.