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Match preview: Toluca vs. Tijuana

Looking for their second point on the season, Toluca hosts a well-rested Xolos who may just be the best team on the outside looking in.

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Tijuana v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Eduardo Teran/Jam Media/Getty Images

Game: Deportivo Toluca Fútbol Club S.A. de C.V. vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente

Date: Sunday, August 25th

Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern, 12:00 p.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Pacific, 5:00 p.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Nemesio Díez (Toluca, Edomex.)

Referees: REF: Luis Enrique Santander Aguirre, AR1: Jose Ibrahim Martinez Chavarria, AR2: Mauricio Nieto Torres, 4TH: Alan Enrique Martínez Vega

Radio: 98.9 FM (Tijuana/San Diego), 106.7 FM (Calexico/Mexicali)

Television: United States - TUDN, Univision; Mexico - TUDN; Canada - OneSoccer

Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling TV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Univision NOW, MOREFM (Audio only)

All-time record: The clubs are dead even across all competitions. with both teams winning eleven while drawing six times. Toluca holds a three games to two advantage in the Copa MX, with the clubs drawing once. Tijuana holds the advantage in Liga MX play winning nine to Toluca’s eight with five games split between the two. Tijuana won the last match, a 2-0 win at Estadio Caliente on February 2 of this year on goals from Miller Bolaños and Fabian Castillo. Toluca won the last Liga MX game at Estadio Nemesio Díez by 3-0 with goals from Enrique Triverio, Antonio Ríos, and Alexis Vega. Tijuana has won when it counts though, getting their only star by defeating Toluca 4-1 on aggregate in the 2012 Apertura Final.

Tijuana v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX
Camilo Sanvezzo has warmed up after a bit of a slow start, scoring four goals in his past four games across all competitions.
Photo by Gonzalo Gonzalez/Jam Media/Getty Images

After a week off, Tijuana (2W 1D 1L) will look to get back to their winning ways when they head to Edomex to face Toluca (0W 1D 4L) in the early game Sunday. Prior to being on the bye week last week, Xolos had a 1-0 win against UNAM Pumas () in Liga MX play before losing 3-2 to Querétaro in Copa MX play.

FOX Sports anchor and Chula Vista, California native Adrián García-Márquez says he thought forward Camilo Sanvezzo was the biggest addition for Xolos during an offseason that saw the team bring in a wealth of new talent. “You needed to see something out of him and have that spark, especially in who he was replacing in Gustavo Bou.”

“You have a guy who knows what it feels like to score,” he continued, “and has that instinct and yet it was dry in the beginning and he gets hot, having three goals in the last three games I think so far. Sanvezzo and Washington Camacho definitely has been a great addition, so maybe they’re a little bit up and down so far. They’re currently sitting at twelfth, but there’s a key stretch where these guys are going to be very important with three games in seven days. At Toluca, they (then) have Cruz Azul in Tijuana, and then at Necaxa.”

García-Márquez feels good about the upcoming stretch. “They’re all winnable games. (It’s) just a matter of everyone being on the same page. You’ve got those guys (Sanvezzo and Camacho), and then there’s what Nahuelpán does and (with) what Bolaños does they are fun to watch. You see how they counter, they do that so well. Sometimes I like to mix sports together and maybe they’re not quite the Lakers’ ‘Showtime’ but it’s that kind of electricity, when they’re all firing on all cylinders and you see just a very watchable style of soccer.”

Toluca v Queretaro - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX
Ricardo La Volpe’s Toluca has only one goal and one point on the season so far.
Photo by Angel Castillo/Jam Media/Getty Images

Toluca on the other hand hasn’t been very watchable. Ricardo La Volpe’s team has only managed to get one point out of the five Liga MX matches that they’ve played thanks to a 1-1 draw against Cruz Azul in Week 2. That lone goal by Alan Medina in the 91st minute is the only goal they’ve scored this season while conceding eight.

Still, teams can’t afford to take them lightly. Goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera is still one of the better goalkeepers in the league to spite the defense in front of him. Alexis Canelo also needs to be respected. He’s only a year removed from a 10 goal season, and if Xolos give him time and space he has the potential to really open the game up. Xolos will need to prepare for them like they would any other team and do a thorough job.

García-Márquez thinks Xolos will go far this season though. “I think if we look at their games so far, I think there’s something left as far as... who’s on the field, who’s coaching them. (Xolos know) that they’re better than maybe what they look like on paper to be twelfth. I feel like if you look at the game against Gallos Blancos, they tied it 1-1 but I think Xolos were the better team in that game.”

I think you talked about that if I’m not mistaken,” he said to me. “You brought that up as well, that it just felt like Xolos were the better team that night but at the end it was a 1-1 tie, and that kind of tells you what they can do. If Gallos Blancos are leading the pack right now, Xolos can easily be a top Liga MX (team) as well. They just need to find the consistency. I think that’s where it’s lacking.”