Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Toluca
When: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019
Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico
Time: 7:06 P.M. PST
TV: Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes
The Tijuana Xolos will play their fifth game in the Liga MX 2019 Clausura tournament this Saturday, Feb. 2, against Toluca at the Estadio Caliente. The Aztec Canines are coming off a 1-0 loss to Cruz Azul away from home and are now looking to bounce back at home.
Club Tijuana was the better team against Cruz Azul last week, but failed to capitalize on their opportunities. Finishing continues to be a key problem for the border city team, but the attack is shaping up nicely with Gustavo Bou, Ariel Nahuelpan, Fabian Castillo, and Miller Bolanos.
The Xoloitzcuintles have been active in the final days of the current transfer window and recently brought in 21-year-old defensive midfielder Kevin Balanta and sold Juan Martin Lucero to Argentine team, Godoy Cruz. Balanta will not play in this game, but it will be interesting to see which players Oscar Pareja decides to start now with several options in the attack and midfield. Club Tijuana is currently in 15th place with just three points and is still looking to get its first win at the Estadio Caliente this season, with its only win coming against Leon away from home.
Toluca is currently in ninth place with six points and has suffered two consecutive 1-0 losses against Chivas de Guadalajara and Tigres UANL. Los Diablos Rojos have a solid roster and some of the standouts include goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera, ex-Xolo Luis Angel Mendoza, and goalscorer Enrique Triverio.
Los Escarlatas have been very active in this transfer window, and key players like centre-back Jonatan Maidana and striker Emmanuel Gigliotti have still yet to debut. It will be interesting to see if those players get any minutes at the Estadio Caliente and how Toluca’s inconsistent backline handles Club Tijuana’s attack.
Players to Watch
Triverio is one of the top goalscorers in the Liga MX with three goals scored and has been Toluca’s best player so far. The Argentine striker is a strong and physical target man that has very good positioning and finishing abilities that make him a tough player to mark.
Castillo had a very nice game against Cruz Azul last week and is clearly already comfortable playing in the Liga MX. The Colombian forward is arguably Club Tijuana’s best player and should cause problems to Toluca’s inconsistent backline in this clash.
The Xoloitzcuintles are starting to look better in recent weeks and will have the home-field advantage, so EVT predicts a 1-0 win for the Border City Dogs.