Tijuana Xolos Liga MX 2018 Apertura Week 4 Preview: Xolos Host Title Contenders Cruz Azul

Credit: Xolos

Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Cruz Azul

When: Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018

Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico

Time: 6:06 P.M. PST

TV: Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Deportes

The Tijuana Xolos will play their fourth game in the Liga MX 2018 Apertura this Sunday, Aug. 12.

Club Tijuana will host Cruz Azul, one of the best teams this season, at the Estadio Caliente. The Border City Dogs are coming off a 1-1 draw against Leon at home and are winless in their last two league games. The Xoloitzcuintles’ lone win this season came in Week 1 against Chivas at home, and the team is still undefeated at home.

The most recent result for Diego Cocca’s side was a 2-0 win against Toluca in the Copa MX this past Wednesday. Luis Chavez picked up a red card in the game against Leon and will miss this game. Missing Chavez will be a blow in the midfield and Diego Gonzalez is the likely replacement for the Mexican player. The Xolos do have the advantage at home with the new turf and the backing of the home crowd. However, this should be a very tough task for the Prehistoric Dogs.

Cruz Azul has been one of the best teams in the 2018 Apertura as the Mexico City team is undefeated and has yet to concede any goals.

La Maquina has three wins in three games, with victories against Puebla, Chivas, and Tigres UANL. The win against Tigres was specifically impressive as Ricardo Ferretti’s team is one of the top title favorites. Ricardo Pelaez came in as Cruz Azul’s new sporting director and he brought in some very impactful signings with him.

Some of the signings that have made the most impact on the team include Pablo Aguilar, Elias Hernandez, and Ivan Marcone. There are a few former Xolos’ players on the team including Aguilar, Milton Caraglio, Javier Salas, and Jose Maduena. Los Cementeros have a very solid squad and really look to be one of the top title contenders so far. Cruz Azul should be a very tough opponent for the Xolos and their presence will be felt at the Mictlan with its very large and loyal fan base.

Players to Watch

Credit: Xolos. Xolos’ captain Pablo Aguilar in action against Motagua.

Pablo Aguilar

The former Xolos’ captain will be making his return to the Estadio Caliente this Sunday. Aguilar was a brick wall in his latest stint with Club Tijuana and he has not slowed down since joining Los Celestes. The Paraguayan defender is great in the air, has a physical presence, and has immense leadership and grit that makes him one of the best defenders in the league.

Diego Gonzalez

“El Pulpo” will likely be the replacement for the suspended Luis Chavez in the Xoloitzcuintles’ midfield. The Argentine played against Toluca in the Copa MX earlier in the week, but he should be good to go for this match. Gonzalez just came over from the Argentine league, but he does have a track record in the Liga MX with Santos Laguna. “Pulpo” is a player that can cover a lot of ground and be very dangerous going forward with his long-range strikes.

Prediction

Even with the home-field advantage, this will be a very tough matchup for the Tijuana Xolos. Cruz Azul has been a force this season and has a well-balanced squad that is very strong in every component of the game. EVT predicts a 2-1 win for Cruz Azul at the Estadio Caliente that would end Xolos’ 10-game unbeaten streak at home.

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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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