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Match preview: Tijuana vs. Morelia

Monarcas and Xolos are two very different teams, and their contrasting styles will be on display at Estadio Caliente.

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Tijuana v Cruz Azul - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Gonzalo Gonzalez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Club Atlético Monarcas

Date: Wednesday, September 25th

Time: 10:06 p.m. Eastern, 9:06 p.m. Central, 7:06 p.m. Pacific, 2:06 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, B.C.)

Referees: REF: Roberto García Orozco, AR1: Andres Hernández Delgado, AR2: Cesar Cerritos García, 4TH: Juan Andres Esquivel Gonzalez

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

Television: United States - Fox Sports 1, FOX Deportes Network, Fox 5 San Diego; Mexico - Fox Sports 2 Cono Norte

Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling TV (Free trial + monthly subscription), FOX Sports GO, MOREFM (Audio only)

All-time record: Across all competitions, Monarcas holds the slight edge, winning eight to Xolos’ seven with six draws between them. The only times they have met outside of Liga MX play have been in the Copa MX, where each team has won once and the clubs drew once as well. The last time the teams met was back on April 26, when Tijuana got two goals from Gustavo Bou and goals from Miller Bolaños and Jesús Angulo on the way to a 4-1 win at Estadio Morelos. The last time the teams met in Tijuana, Xolos got goals from Fabián Castillo and Antonio Nava but Monarcas got a brace from Miguel Sansores and a goal from Sebastián Vegas in a 3-2 victory for the visitors.

Pachuca v Tijuana - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX
Julián Velázquez and the Xolos defense have given up 17 goals in 10 games.
Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Tijuana (3W 2D 4L) suffered one of their worst defeats in recent memory on Saturday, going down to Pachuca (3W 3D 4L) 4-1 at Estadio Hidalgo. They’ll return to Baja California to face an in-form Morelia (5W 1D 4L) team that has won four of their last five games.

Tijuana’s defense has been suspect, sitting 17th out of 19 teams in goals allowed. They’ve given up eight goals in their last three games and 17 goals over all nine games they’ve played. While their offense has put up a respectable 13 goals, giving up that many negates any positives the offense may generate.

Tijuana’s saving grace may be their home field advantage, where they are undefeated in four games, winning two and drawing two. They’ve also given up just four goals in those four games at the Mictlán while scoring six. If they can get those kinds of performances on a more consistent basis (and perhaps on the road as well), this could be a team that realizes its Liguilla ambitions.

Morelia v Pumas UNAM - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX
Sebastián Sosa has found some consistency this season, leading Monarcas’ defense to giving up the fewest goals so far.
Photo by Cesar Gomez/ Jam Media/Getty Images

Morelia on the other hand is looking good value to realize their Liguilla ambitions. Morelia has given up just nine goals in their ten games, which is tied for first. They’ve been getting consistent performances from long-timers Sebastián Sosa, Gabriel Achilier, and Mario Osuna as well as newcomer Joaquín “Shaggy” Martínez. The club has given up more than one goal just once this season, in their opening day 4-2 loss to Tigres (3W 5D 1L).

Morelia’s big knock this season has been their offense. They’ve only scored 11 goals in 10 games, and have only come back once this season in their 1-1 draw with Atlético San Luis (4W 2D 3L). If Morelia can score first and sit back and defend they’ll be content, however if Xolos can finish their chances and get on the board early they may continue their dominance at home.