Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club Puebla
Date: Sunday, August 5th
Time: 9:06 p.m. Eastern, 8:06 p.m. Central, 7:06 p.m. Pacific, 1:06 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, B.C.)
Referees: REF: Oscar Macías Romo, AR1: Mario Jesús López Carrillo, AR2: Cesar Cerritos García, 4TH: Miguel Ángel Chacón Viveros
All-time record: In Liga MX regular season play, the series is knotted with both clubs winning five and drawing twice. including a 1-1 draw in the Nou Camp in the 2018 Clausura. The last time they played at Estadio Caliente, Xolos won 2-1. These teams also have a history in the playoffs, with Xolos winning the 2012 Apertura series 3-2 on their way to winning the championship. León got their revenge in the 2016 Apertura Liguilla, winning 5-3 on aggregate.
Going back to their time in the Ascenso MX, both teams won two while drawing four games during the regular season. Xolos won the Liguilla series in the 2011 Clausura 3-0 on aggregate.
Often whether something is or is not a rivalry or Clásico is subjective. If certain criteria are met in the eye of the beholder, then yes indeed it’s a rivalry. Sometimes the threshold is impossibly high because someone simply doesn’t want to believe a rivalry exists. Other times people see rivalry where nothing more than slight dislike exists.
Whether you believe Club Tijuana (1W 0D 1L) and Club León (0W 0D 2L) is a Clásico, a rivalry, or just another week-ending match in Liga MX, the teams view this as a rivalry. In a press conference earlier in the week, Xolos manager Diego Cocca referred to León saying “It will give us an extra motivation to face an arch rival. We can give our fans a great joy with a win.”
Xolos have played well in both their outings, defeating Chivas (0W 0D 2L) pretty easily and almost getting their desired result of a scoreless draw against Tigres (2W 0D 0L). While Xolos will look to be solid defensively, look for them to open up a bit more offensively against a León side that is much weaker than Tigres.
León lost 2-0 when they faced Tigres and lost by the same scoreline when they faced Monterrey (2W 0D 0L) last week. To be fair, both Tigres and Monterrey are considered among the elite teams in Liga MX, but zero goals for and four goals against in two games is not very good.
Mauro Boselli has struggled this season, and going on the road against Tijuana will mean the Argentinian will be facing some tough circumstances to get his team’s first goal of the season. Meanwhile León’s revamped defense is still trying to get things figured out. Rodolfo Cota seems to be an upgrade over William Yarbrough, but no goalkeeper would thrive with the issues that León’s back line has been having this season.
All of these issues however have a tendency to get papered over when you’re playing your rival, even if some don’t consider it a rivalry.