GAME: Tigres vs. FC Juárez
DATE: Saturday, October 24th
TIME: 8 ET (7 CT)
VENUE: Estadio Universitario
After an ugly start to the season, Tuca Ferretti has balanced out the ship. Now on a five-game winning streak, he will look to lead his team to a season-high sixth consecutive victory when they play hosts to FC Juárez tonight. Now in 3rd overall in the league table, they are in position to become a real threat to the rest of the league, as they look to secure a first-round bye and thus, a certain degree of home-field advantage.
Not even the FIFA international break was enough to cool off this red-hot Tigres squad, who started off right where they left off before the break, by going into Estadio Azteca and overcoming a then 2nd placed Cruz Azul with a bit of luck we might add, but nonetheless, handing ‘La Máquina’ its first home loss of the season, a feat that’s never easy to accomplish. By the way, that was Tigres’ fifth consecutive win, and today they’ll try to keep pace with León, who just won their sixth straight yesterday night.
It’s worth noting that Tigres get back two key defenders (Hugo Ayala and Carlos Salcedo) for tonight’s game, after testing positive for COVID a few days back. Julián Quiñones, however, will have to wait for next week, as he still hasn’t gotten the green light from the medical staff. During this five-game winning streak, Tuca’s squad haven’t conceded a single goal, and haven’t scored less than twice every game, garnering 12 goals during these past 450 minutes of play.
FC Juárez, on the ther hand, currently stand 12th overall, occupying the last playoff spot with only three wins on the season so far to go along with five draws and six losses. Their last four games haven’t produced the ideal outcomes, as they came out on the losing end vs. lowly Atlas and Tijuana, got a draw in Pachuca, and followed it with last week’s performance, which was probably the worst of the season, as they got bombarded by 17th place Mazatlán, resulting in them being down 3-0 within the first half hour of the match. And Mazatlán could’ve made it a wider difference, had it not been for their lack of quality up front.
So, FC Juárez take their 4th lowest scoring offense in the league (13 goals) to visit a team who hasn’t allowed a single goal in their last five matches, and who are tied for the league’s best defense (11 goals), along with León. But despite having a middle-of-the-pack defense, Gabriel Caballero’s squad have allowed 7 goals over their past four matches. They’ve struggled mightily as of late and will have their toughest matchup yet in what should result in yet another loss, especially with Tigres now at full strength.
PREDICTION: FC Juárez will come out defending full-on, conceding Tigres with the game initiative. Considering the problems Juárez have had behind lately, I don’t see how Gignac, Fernández, Aquino, and the red-hot revelation “Diente” López don’t break this game open soon. Barring an unexpected red-card or penalty against, Tigres should have no problem overcoming this mightily struggling and reeling squad, who are unbelievably still in playoff territory. And even with any circumstancial, inconvenient occurrence for Tuca and company, I still expect them to rebound and win the match. Tigres by 2+.