Game: Club América vs. Xolos de Tijuana
Date: Saturday, February 24th
Time: 10:00 PM Eastern, 9:00 PM Central, 7:00 PM Pacific, 3:00 AM UTC
Venue: Estadio Azteca (Mexico City)
Club América and head coach Miguel Herrera return to the Estadio Azteca following a midweek CONCACAF Champions League match in Costa Rica to take on Herrera’s former team, Xolos de Tijuana, in jornada 9 Liga MX action.
Miguel Herrera could not have hoped for Club América to be in better form for their matchup against his former squad. Las Águilas are leading the Liga MX in every statistical category and return to the Estadio Azteca fresh on the back of a 5-1 thrashing of Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa in the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday.
As if Club América wasn't already dominant enough through the first eight weeks of the 2018 Clausura tournament, talented Paraguayan forward Cecilio Domínguez and electric Colombian winger Mateus Uribe have managed to find their goalscoring form with each player netting a brace on Wednesday against Deportivo Saprissa. The form of Domínguez and Uribe allows for an already free scoring Club América side, who have notched 16 goals in their last 5 matches, to become even more dynamic on the offensively.
Miguel Herrera’s former side, Xolos de Tijuana, have been slightly less successful than their opposition this season. The team from the northern frontera find themselves sitting in 8th place on 12 points with a +2 goal difference and a record of 3-3-2 through the first eight weeks of the 2018 Clausura. Despite being only four points off of first place, Xolos are in nowhere near in as consistent of form as top of the table Club América.
This lack of consistent form was put on full display in their midweek CONCACAF Champions League matchup against Motagua of Honduras. Due to insecurity in Honduras, the match was was played at H-E-B Park in Edinburgh, Texas. Xolos put out a strong starting XI for the match against the much weaker side from Honduras. Despite their strong squad, Xolos really struggled to play with any rhythm at all. A 30 minute weather delay during the match didn't do much to help Xolos cause. However, Tijuana was eventually able to squeak out a 1-0 victory. With virtually the same lineup, Xolos had defeated Pumas UNAM 4-1 at home over the weekend before.
Xolos are going to have to play with the same swashbuckling offensive prowess that they showed against Pumas UNAM if they hope to take anything out of their match against top of the table Club América. For Miguel Herrera and Las Águilas it will be a matter of maintaining their goalscoring form over the last five matches. If they do that, Club América should take all three points from this match.