Game: Monterrey vs Tijuana Xolos
When: Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018
Where: Estadio BBVA Bancomer, Monterrey, Mexico
Time: 7:06 P.M. PST
TV: Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes
The Tijuana Xolos will play their 11th game in the Liga MX 2018 Apertura this Saturday, Sept. 29, as the Aztec Canines travel to the Estadio BBVA Bancomer to face Monterrey. This will be a rematch of a quarterfinal fixture in the Liga MX last season and should be a very intriguing duel.
Club Tijuana is currently in tremendous form in league play with three consecutive wins, coming off a 1-0 victory against Pachuca. The defense has not allowed a single goal in this streak, but the offense has been inconsistent and lacking rhythm.
Erick “Cubo” Torres scored the game-winner in that game against Pachuca and it will be interesting to see if he stays in the lineup and how he fares after scoring his first league goal in a Xolos’ jersey. Diego Cocca’s team is coming off a rough 2-1 loss against Cruz Azul in Copa MX play during the week, which may have an impact in momentum heading into this clash.
The Xolos will count with team captain Juan Carlos Valenzuela in this match after serving a suspension for the last match, but the status of Argentine striker Juan Martin Lucero is still unclear. The Border City Dogs are currently out of a playoff spot just on goal differential, in ninth place with 15 points and would really benefit gaining points from this game.
Monterrey is currently in seventh place with 17 points and has one of the most talented rosters in the league. However, Los Rayados have had an injury crisis and will not count with Aviles Hurtado, Rodolfo Pizarro, Alfonso Gonzalez, Jose Maria Basanta or Jonathan Urretaviscaya for this encounter.
Still, Los Regios have a very menacing attack with players like Dorlan Pabon and Rogelio Funes Mori and a solid defense with players like Leonel Vangioni and Nicolas Sanchez. Monterrey will also count with the massive home-field advantage at the BBVA Bancomer and should be a very tough team to break down for this Xolos’ side.
Players to Watch
Monterrey has a very solid attack with players that are not afraid to test opposing goalkeepers from range. Xolos’ goalkeeper Gibran Lajud has had his ups and downs this season, but is currently in very good form and could potentially be a very key player in this match.
With all of Monterrey’s great players in its attack, it is very surprising that the team’s top scorer is actually defender Nicolas Sanchez with four goals. The Argentine center-back is Rayados’ set penalty taker but is also a huge aerial threat on set pieces due to his height and physicality.
Monterrey is really one of the best teams in the Liga MX despite no longer being managed by the great tactician Antonio Mohamed. The team is still in great hands with Diego Alonso and is nearly impossible to take down at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer. EVT predicts a 2-1 win for Monterrey in a game that should be very hard-fought and intense throughout the 90 minutes.