Game: Club Puebla vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente
Date: Friday, August 11th
Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Cuauhtemoc (Puebla, Pue.)
Tijuana (0W 3L 0D) has had an absolutely dreadful start to the season, but there have been some glimmers of hope. The team has started to look more cohesive over the past few games but hasn’t been able to put it all together as of yet. Scoring is a huge problem, with the club having no goals in Liga MX play. To make matters worse, Paul Arriola was dealt to D.C. United in MLS at the closing of the international transfer window for a reported USD$3-3.5 million. Mauricio Cuero will most likely be the new starting right wing, with Nacho Malcorra on the left and the tandem of Juan Lucero and either Gustavo Bou or Henry Martin at the striker position.
Puebla (0W 1D 2L) is also looking for its first win of the Liga MX season. Puebla lost 1-0 to Xolos in Copa MX play on August 1, with Paul Arriola scoring the winner for Tijuana. Puebla will be without Pablo Caceres, who picked up two yellow cards in their last match against Veracruz. They however didn’t play a midweek Copa MX match, so should have rested somewhat. Right winger Felix Micolta has historically played well against Xolos, and striker Carlos Salom should definitely going to keep the Tijuana defense busy all night.
If Tijuana is going to break out of their funk, Puebla could prove to be just what they needed. If Xolos can score early and force Puebla to press instead of relying on the counterattack, they’ll be in a good position to pick up their first points of the 2017 Apertura.