Tijuana Xolos Liga MX 2018 AP Week 15 Preview: Franky Oviedo Starts Stint As Manager Against Lobos BUAP

Credit: MEXSPORT

Game: Lobos BUAP vs Tijuana Xolos

Where: Estadio Universitario BUAP, Puebla, Mexico

When: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018

Time: 8:00 P.M. PST

TV: Univision, Univision Deportes

There are just three games remaining in the Liga MX 2018 Apertura and the Tijuana Xolos seem to be in deep trouble. The Aztec Canines recently parted ways with Diego Cocca and assigned youth academy coach Franky Oviedo as the interim manager.

Los Rojinegros are in 14th place with 16 points, but are not officially out of the playoff race, even though making the playoffs seems highly unlikely at this point. Oviedo must be impeccable in his first major managing gig to get to the playoffs and must start with an away win against Lobos BUAP this Saturday. The Xolos are in disastrous form as the border city side is winless in its last four games and has only scored one goal in this span.

The Border City Dogs are tied for the worst offense of the 2018 Apertura with just 10 goals scored, and finishing scoring opportunities have been a major concern this season. Erick Torres has been very ineffective and Juan Martin Lucero has not been much better, coming off of his worst performance of the season. The Argentine striker missed a penalty that could have been crucial for the Aztec Canines in their 1-0 loss to Pumas UNAM at the Estadio Caliente.

That loss was the Xoloitzcuintles’ only home loss of the season, but their form on the road has been among the worst in the league. Club Tijuana has only won one game on the road this season and has inclusively only scored one goal while conceding 11 in away fixtures.

Lobos BUAP has been one of the worst teams this season, currently in 16th place with just 13 points. However, the team from Puebla has been on the rise recently, now undefeated in its last five games after drawing 2-2 to Tigres UANL last week.

La Manada has a limited roster with a very inconsistent defense, but does have an intriguing attack with players like Leonardo Ramos and Bryan Rabello. Lobos BUAP does not have a large fan base as the Universitario BUAP consistently brings in the worst attendance in the Liga MX, but it can still be a tough venue to visit. Los Caninos are undefeated in their last two home games and will try and use their home-field advantage in this encounter.

Players to Watch

Credit: Liga MX

Miller Bolanos

The Xolos’ offense has been terrible this season and the only saving grace has been Miller Bolanos, with two goals scored and three assists. The Ecuadorian forward is clearly the most consistent player in this Xolos’ offense and should be able to take advantage of Lobos’ inconsistent backline.

Leonardo Ramos

Ramos was a late signing for Lobos BUAP from the Mexican second-tier league, and has now proven to be one of the best strikers in the league. The Argentine forward has scored seven goals in six games and is averaging a goal every 76 minutes in the Liga MX.

Prediction

This will be a tough away game for the Xolos especially considering the recent departure of Diego Cocca from the Xolos’ bench. EVT predicts a 2-1 win for Lobos BUAP as it should be hard for Franky Oviedo to start off with a positive result away from 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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