Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Club Deportivo Tiburones Rojos de la Veracruz
Date: Friday, October 13th
Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, B.C.)
After a two-week layoff for the international break, Liga MX play has started up again with Toluca’s 3-1 win over a hapless Lobos BUAP side on Wednesday. Tonight sees Puebla hosting Querétaro FC in the early game, with Tijuana and Veracruz playing the late game.
The break should have allowed Tijuana (4W 2D 5L) to reset things a bit. After a dismal start, Xolos went on a seven game unbeaten run before dropping two in a row against Tigres and Monarcas Morelia. They will be without defender Emanuel Aguilera, who was shown a second yellow card just 16 minutes in to the loss to Monarcas. Michael Orozco will most likely replace Aguilera in tonight’s lineup. Orozco was with the United States National Team during their ill-fated run in the CONCACAF Hexagonal, but did not dress for either of the final two matches.
Look for Tijuana to utilize their 5-3-2 formation, with fullback Matías Aguirregaray and midfielder Victor Malcorra pushing out wide during the attack on the right and left respectively. Gustavo Bou leads the club with five goals, and is joined up top with Juan Iturbe.
Veracruz (4W 1D 6L) lost their last match out against Atlas on September 29 and three of their last four in Liga MX play. Veracruz has had offensive troubles, scoring just 10 goals in 11 games. Only Pumas (nine goals) and Puebla (six goals) have scored fewer thus far in Liga MX play. Former Xolos players Cristian Pellerano and Richard Ruíz currently play for Tiburones, however Ruíz has been injured lately and may miss the chance to match up against his former team. Martín Bravo and Adrian Luna are the main goal scoring threats for Veracruz, although Bravo has only scored once this season. Luna leads the club with three goals.
This should be a match that Tijuana wins, with Tiburones’ inability to create offensively allowing Xolos to press higher up the field in the attack. If the disciplinary issues Xolos has had stay to a minimum and the team can gather momentum early, they could see themselves back in the hunt for a spot in the Liguilla.