Game: Club Atlético de San Luis vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente
Date: Thursday, February 4th
Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 1:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Alfonso Lastras Ramírez (San Luis Potosí, S.L.P.)
Referees: REF: Luis Enrique Santander Aguirre, AR1: Jose Ibrahim Martinez Chavarria, AR2: Karen Janett Díaz Medina, 4TH: Edgar Allan Morales Olvera, VAR: Gerardo Martínez Bravo, AVAR: César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos
Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - ESPN2; Belize - ESPN2; Costa Rica - ESPN2; Dominican Republic - ESPN2; El Salvador - ESPN2; Guatemala - ESPN2; Honduras - ESPN2; Nicaragua - ESPN2; Panama - ESPN2
All-time record: These two teams have faced off just twice before in Liga MX competition, with Tijuana winning their first meeting 3-2 in San Luis Potosí back on September 29, 2019. Tijuana got a brace from Ariel Nahuelpán and a goal from Leonel Miranda while Atleti got goals from Oscar Macías and Nicolas Ibáñez. San Luis won the rematch 2-0 at Estadio Caliente back on August 12, 2020 with goals from Ibáñez and Ramiro González. They also had a series in the 2020 Copa MX Round of 16 that Xolos won 2-0 on aggregate.
After four games, Club Tijuana (2W 2D 0L) sits tied with superlíder Santos Laguna (2W 2D 0L) on points atop the Liga MX table. To call their ascent improbable is probably being kind, as Xolos finished last season five points out of a spot in the repechaje and ten out of the Liguilla, having conceded almost two and a half times the amount of goals (27) that they scored (12).
This season however Xolos have improved dramatically on defense, their two goals allowed coming in their last outing against Toluca (2W 1D 1L). They also exploded for three goals in their win against Toluca, which only time will tell if it was an outlier or the start of a shift toward more offensive output. The talent is there, with Miguel Sansores, Mauro Manotas, Fabián Castillo, and Fidel Martínez all having proven track records of being able to score goals. Now Xolos need to be consistent in creating offensive opportunities and capitalizing on those that arise.
Atlético de San Luis (1W 0D 3L) has struggled this season, however their three losses were all on the road and they won their lone home match against Chivas (0W 2D 2L). Atleti has some decent players, with goalkeeper Axel Werner and forward Nicolás Ibáñez being loanees from parent club Atlético Madrid. Still the club has yet to find any consistency and playing at home does not guarantee a result.
Tijuana will most likely look to focus on the defensive side of things, soaking up the pressure that San Luis is most likely going to throw at them and looking to hit them on a counterattack. Possession will probably be meaningless overall in this type of game, and the team that can make the fewest mistakes will probably be the one taking home the points at the end of the night.