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Match preview: Club Tijuana vs. Necaxa

The dawn of the Robert Dante Siboldi era in Tijuana as Xolos host Necaxa.

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Club Tijuana v Mazatlan - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Francisco Vega/Getty Images

Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Impulsora del Deportivo Necaxa S.A. de C.V.

Date: Friday, April 23rd

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: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo, AR1: Enríque Isaac Bustos Díaz, AR2: Mauricio Nieto Torres, 4TH: Áxel Meza Méndez, VAR: Cirilo Arturo Cruz Hurtado, AVAR: Juan Joel Rangel Maya

Television: United States - FS1, FOX Deportes Network; Mexico - FOX Sports 2; Belize - FOX Sports 2; Costa Rica - FOX Sports 2; Dominican Republic - FOX Sports 2; El Salvador - FOX Sports 2; Guatemala - FOX Sports 2; Honduras - FOX Sports 2; Nicaragua - FOX Sports 2; Panama - FOX Sports 2; Venezuela - FOX Sports 2

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), Sling TV (Subscription), FOX Sports GO, Vidgo (Subscription)

All-time record: Tijuana leads the all-time series with eight wins to Necaxa’s six with three draws between them. Necaxa leads four wins to three with one draw in Liga MX play, and it’s Los Rayos with a two wins to one with one draw advantage in the Ascenso MX. Xolos have never lost to Necaxa in the Copa MX tournament however, with Tijuana winning four and drawing only once, although that draw saw Necaxa advance 6-5 on penalties in the 2016 Clausura quarterfinal.

The last time the clubs met, Necaxa won 2-0 in Aguascalientes on goals from Ian González and Fernando Arce, Jr. back on October 16, 2020. The last time they played in Tijuana, Xolos won 1-0 back on August 31, 2018 on a late goal from Miller Bolaños.

FBL-MEX-CRUZ AZUL-TIGRES
Robert Dante Siboldi comes to Tijuana a week after the departure of Pablo Guede to try and salvage the season for Xolos.
Photo by CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP via Getty Images

The Robert Dante Siboldi era will get underway in Tijuana as the 55 year old manager takes the reins for Xolos after the departure of Pablo Guede. Xolos have been in free fall for several weeks, losing seven of their last nine and dropping from third place in Week 4 to fifteenth place and two points out of a Liguilla spot with two weeks to go. The good news for Xolos is they’ll face off against Necaxa, the only team currently mathematically eliminated from the repechaje.

Siboldi has brought success to other clubs in Mexico, winning a title with Santos Laguna and helping build Cruz Azul into the team they are today. Siboldi has some good players to work with, and it will be interesting to see how he lines up his team and perhaps more importantly if he can salvage the once promising season with an appearance in the postseason.

Necaxa v FC Juarez - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX
Ian González and Martín Barragán share the team lead with three goals each.
Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images

Necaxa meanwhile are struggling mightily. They’re 16th in goals scored with just 13, 16th in goals allowed with 23, and last in overall points with 11. They’ve won just twice, against San Luis and Juárez, who are also 16th and 17th in the league and a point from being mathematically eliminated from the postseason.

Necaxa will be playing for pride, and there is talent there. This match should be fairly even, and both teams should come out looking to get points to try and end an otherwise poor campaign on a good note.