Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Deportivo Toluca Fútbol Club S. A. de C. V.
Date: Saturday, February 2nd
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.)
Referees: REF: Adonai Escobedo Gonzalez, AR1: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala, AR2: Jimmy Acosta Montesinos, 4TH: Edgar Ulises Rangel Araujo
Radio: 98.9 FM (Tijuana/San Diego)
Television: United States - Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports 1, FOX Deportes Network; Mexico - Fox Sports 2 Cono Norte
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling TV (Free trial + monthly subscription), FOX Sports Go, MOREFM Online.com (Audio only) Listings for effectively every game in every country can be found here.
All-time record: In Liga MX play, Toluca holds the slight edge having won six to Tijuana’s five while the teams have drawn four times. The teams have also met in Copa MX play where Xolos hold a three wins to two lead while the clubs drew once. The clubs have also met three times in the playoffs, with Xolos losing the last two but winning the one that counted: the 2012 Apertura Final.
Tijuana (1W 0D 3L) returns home to host Toluca (2W 0D 2L) in the late game Saturday. In Xolos last home game, they were roundly defeated by Tigres UANL (2W 1D 1L) by a 3-0 scoreline. In that match Xolos held fast for the first half, but an own goal and forcing men forward in an attempt to equalize in the second lead to some drastic changes.
Following the loss, Xolos have brought in Gustavo “Pantera” Bou to score some goals. They’ve also recently added Ariel Nahuelpán and Kevin Balanta in an attempt to bolster the attack and midfield respectively. Bou and Nahuelpán both have impressed since joining the team, and it will be interesting to see how Balanta fits in to an already crowded midfield.
Xolos will face a bit of a handicap with Óscar Pareja serving a suspension for his ejection from last week’s match against Cruz Azul. With Pareja off of the bench at least temporarily, Tijuana will need to fall back on the training they received over the week.
Toluca comes in having lost their last two, both 1-0 losses to Chivas (3W 0D 1L) and Tigres. Toluca lost three key players in the offseason, seeing Alexis Vega go to Chivas, Rubens Sambueza go to León (1W 2D 1L), and Luis Quiñones go back to Tigres.
It wasn’t all bad news though. Toluca picked up Argentine forward Emmanuel Gigliotti from Independiente and has received good performances from Enrique Triverio and Alfredo Talavera. The problem however for both teams has been consistency, and the game will likely depend on which one plays up to its potential.