Tijuana Xolos Liga MX CL 18 Week 6 Preview: Xolos Look To Stay Undefeated As Lajud Chases History

Credit: MEXSPORT/Emiliano

Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Queretaro

When: Friday, Feb. 9, 2018

Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico

Time: 7:00 P.M. PST

TV: Univision Deportes

The Tijuana Xolos will play their sixth game of the Liga MX Clausura 2018 this Friday when the Border City Dogs host Queretaro at the Estadio Caliente.

The game is set to be quite an intriguing match for several reasons, but Club Tijuana should come out on top. The Aztec Canines are still undefeated and have yet to allow a goal after five games this season and will look to keep that going against Los Gallos Blancos. The Xolos are coming off a 0-0 draw against Santos Laguna away from home, a result that has stayed consistent throughout Club Tijuana’s road games this season. Manager Diego Cocca has implemented a conservative style of play on the road, resulting in three scoreless games away from the Estadio Caliente this season.

At home, Cocca tends to take more risks and be more aggressive, resulting in two wins for the Xoloitzcuintles at the Mictlan. The wins have come against Necaxa and Puebla as the border city team will now look for its third win in the Clausura 2018. As good as the defense has been in this tournament for the Xolos, the offense has struggled with only three goals so far. Gustavo Bou still looks to be the most exciting and dangerous player on the team, but needs support from players like Juan Lucero and Ignacio Malcorra, who have not been consistent so far. Queretaro’s defense can prove to be tough to break down at times, but Xolos should get some goals in this game, especially in front of the home crowd.

Queretaro has only scored two goals so far and only have four points from five games to start off this Clausura 2018.

Los Gallos Blancos were poised to be an interesting team ahead of this season by signing players like Edson Puch and Miguel Samudio, but have proven to be a very disappointing team. Luis Fernando Tena is also not the most inspiring manager as he has not enjoyed any recent success. Queretaro is currently battling relegation and is coming off a huge 1-0 loss against Veracruz that directly impacted the relegation table. Los Gallos’ lone win this season came in Week 2 against Lobos BUAP, and their most impressive result came a week later with a 0-0 draw against Tigres UANL. Queretaro’s form is off and the players have not found a way to work together and get the results that were initially expected from the team.

Players To Watch

Gibran Lajud

Lajud is just 28 minutes away from making history and breaking the Liga MX record of most minutes without allowing a goal to start a season since the short tournament format started in 1996. The Mexican keeper has yet to allow a goal in 450 minutes of play to start this season. This puts him just 28 minutes off from breaking Jesus Corona’s mark of 477 minutes set in 2015. Lajud has been in exceptional form in this Clausura 2018 and was impactful in Xolos’ last game against Santos Laguna with a handful of crucial saves. The spotlight will be on the 24-year-old this Friday and it will be interesting to see how he can perform.

Tiago Volpi

The only player that could potentially impede the Xolos from getting a victory on Friday night is Tiago Volpi. The Brazilian has solidified himself as one of the better goalkeepers in the Liga MX over the past few years and has stayed fairly consistent. The Xoloitzcuintles have struggled to find the back of the net this season and may struggle against Volpi.

The Prediction

The game should be exciting and intense as there is a bit of a rivalry between the two teams because of previous encounters in the second division. Both teams will obviously be looking to walk away with the three points from the game, but Club Tijuana is the much better team and will have the home-field advantage. The prediction is a comfortable 2-0 win for the Border City Dogs with Gibran Lajud making history and Gustavo Bou providing both goals.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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