Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Atlas
Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico
When: Friday, March 1, 2019
Time: 7:00 P.M. PST
TV: Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes
The Tijuana Xolos had an incredible run of form in February, finishing the month undefeated in seven games in all competitions. The Aztec Canines will now try and get a hot start in March as Club Tijuana host Atlas at the Estadio Caliente in Week 9 of the Liga MX 2019 Clausura.
The Xolos are undefeated in their last four league games coming off a 2-1 away win against Necaxa. The Border City Dogs have inclusively won their last two league games at home and have outscored their opponents 5-0 in these games.
Club Tijuana has had some recent injury problems and could be missing key players like Omar Mendoza, Ariel Nahuelpan and Fabian Castillo for this match. Castillo will almost certainly miss this match, Nahuelpan was injured in the last league game against Necaxa and Omar Mendoza in the recent Copa MX match against Oaxaca.
There is still no official injury report from Club Tijuana and it is unclear if these players will play on Friday night. If Omar Mendoza were to miss the game, it is likely that Ignacio Rivero could slot in the right-back slot and Oscar Pareja would need to make some adjustments to his midfield.
The attack could see someone like Daniel Lopez, Eryc Castillo or even Luis Chavez playing a deeper role. It will be interesting to see how Oscar Pareja does set up his team, especially if key players could be out due to injuries.
Atlas began the 2019 Clausura in tremendous fashion, but has fallen off in recent weeks and is now in 10th place with 10 points. Los Rojinegros have lost three consecutive league games and have inclusively only scored one goal in this horrendous run of form.
The biggest problem for Atlas has been the defense as Omar Gonzalez and Jorge Segura have been very inconsistent. Los Zorros’ attack is exciting with players like Jesus Isijara and Facundo Barcelo and the midfield is strong but does lack a defensive aspect to it.
However, it does not lack any creativity with Osvaldo Martinez, Clifford Aboagye and Juan Pablo Vigon, who all have flair and decent passing and shooting abilities. Atlas is not a team that is expected to do much this season and should struggle in this match, especially away from home.
Players to Watch
Gustavo Bou continues to be one of Club Tijuana’s most impactful players as he recently scored the winning penalty to advance to the Copa MX quarterfinals. Bou had three goals in his previous three games before that Copa MX game against Oaxaca and will definitely need to step up if Ariel Nahuelpan misses this match.
Osvaldo Martinez is a wizard in midfield and can be a huge threat going forward for Atlas with his vision, passing skills and shot. The Paraguayan midfielder has a cannon on him and can pull off passes that leave opponents in awe. Martinez has two goals and three assists this season and has been one of Atlas’ most important signings this season.
This has the potential to be a very exciting match at the Estadio Caliente, but the Xolos are the clear favorites with the home-field advantage and EVT Predicts a 2-1 win for the Aztec Canines.