Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Necaxa
When: Friday, Aug. 31, 2018
Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico
Time: 7:06 P.M. PST
TV: FS2, Fox Deportes
The Tijuana Xolos will play their eighth game in the Liga MX 2018 Apertura this Friday, Aug. 31, when the Aztec Canines host Necaxa at the Estadio Caliente. Club Tijuana is currently on a horrendous run of form as the border city side is winless in its last six games in the Liga MX.
The Xolos only win of the season came in Week 1 against Chivas as the team is now in 16th place with six points on the league table. The Border City Dogs are coming off a disastrous 1-0 loss against Veracruz away from home in Week 7 of the competition. Veracruz is currently in 15th place with seven points and is easily one of the weakest teams in the league.
The Xoloitzcuintles’ biggest problem so far has been efficiency in the attack as the offense has been struggling massively to finish opportunities. Generating opportunities has not been much of a problem, but scoring goals has been as the Xolos only have six goals in seven games, which is tied for the fourth-worst in the Liga MX. Players like Fabian Castillo, Eryc Castillo, and Miller Bolanos have been able to fuel the offense, but Juan Martin Lucero and Erick Torres have both been inconsistent in front of net.
However, the team did just qualify to the knockout stage of the Liga MX and Gibran Lajud and Miller Bolanos did also receive call-ups to their respective national teams, which could be positive signs going forward.
Necaxa has also been struggling this season, currently in 13th place with eight points, but does seem like a promising team under the leadership of 31-year-old manager Marcelo Michel Leano. The young boss has implemented a very attractive playing style that has made the team a force going forward, but has also left the team exposed in the defense.
The backline is Los Rayos’ weak point with players like Leobardo Lopez and Ventura Alvarado, while the attack is the strong suit with players like Victor Davila, Brian Fernandez, and Matias Fernandez. Necaxa is coming off an impressive 1-1 draw against Tigres UANL and also had a surprising win against Club America earlier in the season.
However, these two games were at home at the Estadio Victoria and the team from Aguascalientes has looked very different on the road. Necaxa has lost all three away games in this tournament and has been outscored 8-4 on the road.
Players to Watch
Castillo continues to look like the most promising player on Club Tijuana and he was one of the better players in Xolos’ disappointing performance against Veracruz. The Colombian winger has yet to score for Los Rojinegros, but should have a good chance against a Necaxa defense that has allowed 12 goals this season, tied for the second-worst in the league.
Davila has been one of the best players in the Liga MX this season as he is currently the joint top scorer in the league with five goals, tied with Tigres’ superstar Andre-Pierre Gignac. The Chilean attacking midfielder is just 20 years old, but has showcased plenty of talent with his speed and shot.
The game should be exciting and could potentially be a high scoring affair as both teams do not have the best defenses. However, both teams count with Gibran Lajud and Hugo Gonzalez that received call-ups to the Mexico national team. EVT predicts a 2-1 for the Border City Dogs as the home-field advantage against a team like Necaxa should be enough to snap out of this winless streak.