Tijuana Xolos Liga 2019 Apertura Preview: Xolos travel to Aguascalientes to face Necaxa

Credit: Xolos

Game: Necaxa vs Tijuana Xolos

When: Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019

Where: Estadio Victoria, Aguascalientes, Mexico

Time: 3:00 P.M. PST

TV: TUDN, UniMas, ESPN Deportes

The Tijuana Xolos will play their 2019 Apertura Week 8 matchup this Saturday, Aug.31, as the Aztec Canines travel to the Estadio Victoria to face Necaxa. The Xolos are coming off an incredible 3-2 win against Cruz Azul in Week 7 as Club Tijuana was led to victory by a very late goal by Erick Torres.

Julian Velazquez and Kevin Balanta also scored in that match against Cruz Azul as manager Oscar Pareja made several changes to his lineup. Brazilian striker Camilo Sanvezzo was unavailable for the last match as he was serving a suspension, but will now be good to go for this game.

Mauro Lainez and Angel Sepulveda received their first starts of the season in Tijuana’s last game and both worked well up top with Ariel Nahuelpan and Miller Bolanos. The Xoloitzcuintles are currently in ninth place with 10 points and can finish as high as fourth place by the end of the weekend. However, it will not be an easy task away from home as the Xolos have one win and two losses this season along with a goal differential of negative two on the road.

Necaxa made the playoffs last season and is not expected to repeat that feat without some key players that left the club like Brian Fernandez. Los Rayos have had a respectable season so far, currently in seventh place with 11 points and a massive goal differential of seven.

The team from Aguascalientes is coming off a 1-1 draw against Toluca at home, but did enjoy wins against Chivas and Santos Laguna in the previous weeks. Necaxa’s most shocking victory this season was a massive 7-0 win against Veracruz in Week 3.

Liga MX newcomer Maximiliano Salas has proven to be a fantastic signing as the Argentine forward is tied for the second-most goals in the tournament with five. Mauro Quiroga, who is also new to the league has already scored three goals as Necaxa made some solid investments in the recent transfer window.

Los Rayos‘ backline can be very inconsistent with the centre-back partnership of Rodrigo Noya and Ventura Alvarado. But the attack with Salas, Quiroga and former Xolos’ winger Jesus Angulo has been fantastic so far.

Players to watch

Credit: Xolos

Kevin Balanta

Balanta scored a very nice goal in Tijuana’s last Liga MX match and has had a very nice tournament so far. The Colombian midfielder recently received a callup to the Colombia U-23 national team and can be one of the difference makers in this match. Necaxa overall lacks a strong physical presence and Balamta is a very physical player that can be key in the midfield battles in this match.

Maximiliano Salas

Maxi Salas is one of the best goalscorers in the Liga MX with five goals and has shown no signs of stopping anytime soon. The Argentine forward is just 21 years old and has had an incredible start to his Liga MX career and will need to be marked with precision by the Xolos’ defenders in this match.

Prediction

EVT predicts a 1-1 draw in this match as this game can potentially be a very hard-fought and physical encounter at the Estadio Victoria.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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