Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Queretaro
When: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018
Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico
Time: 7:36 P.M. PST
TV: Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes
Radio In English: 98.9 FM
The Tijuana Xolos will play their 12th game in the Liga MX 2018 Apertura this Saturday, Oct. 6, against Queretaro at the Estadio Caliente. The Border City Dogs are coming off a disastrous 3-0 loss to Monterrey away from home in Week 11 and will be looking to get back on track.
The Aztec Canines had three consecutive wins before that loss, including wins at the Estadio Caliente against Necaxa and Pachuca. Club Tijuana is undefeated in six games at home this season with three wins and draws against solid teams like Cruz Azul and Santos Laguna. There are only six games left this season and this is a must-win game to keep the playoff hopes alive in the 2018 Apertura. The Xolos had only allowed 10 goals before allowing three goals against Monterrey last week and have had a solid backline and immense performances by goalkeeper Gibran Lajud as well.
However, the offense continues to struggle as it only pulled off one shot on target against Monterrey and Diego Cocca will need to make some adjustments for this clash. Team captain Juan Carlos Valenzuela will likely get a start after being benched last week along with Argentine striker Juan Martin Lucero and maybe even young winger Jesus Angulo. The Xoloitzcuintles need to start giving minutes to young players in order to not be penalized at the end of the season and Angulo is the likely candidate to get some starts in the last few games. The Xolos are currently in 11th place with 15 points but could be in the top eight by the end of the weekend.
Queretaro has been a solid team this season, currently in 10th place with 15 points and is a club that is in a similar position as the Xolos. However, Los Gallos Blancos are coming off a 2-0 loss to Tigres UANL at home and are winless in their last three games with two losses in this run. Still, Rafael Puente’s team has some impressive results this season like a draw to Club America and a win against Pumas UNAM away from home.
Queretaro has a very enticing playing style under the leadership of new manager Rafael Puente Jr. that is very aggressive and offensive. The Central Mexican club has some very exciting players in the attack like Camilo Sanvezzo, Daniel Villava, and Marcel Ruiz, a 17-year-old attacking midfielder that has been turning heads recently. The defense is definitely the team’s weak point, but goalkeeper Tiago Volpi is one of the best in his position in the Liga MX.
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The Brazilian goalkeeper is one of the best in the league and is easily Queretaro’s most important player. Volpi has been consistent for a few years now and continues to be a difference maker in each game for Los Gallos Blancos. The Xolos inconsistent offense should struggle to get past the 27-year-old shot stopper and he could be the key figure in this match.
Lajud just received a call-up to the Mexico national team and is looking to bounce back after a poor display against Monterrey. The 24-year-old goalkeeper has had some very solid performances in this 2018 Apertura and will need to be in top form against a Queretaro offense that can be lethal.
This seems like a very even duel, but the ultimate difference can be the home-field advantage for Club Tijuana. Both goalkeepers should be in top form for this clash and a low-scoring match is expected, so EVT predicts a 1-0 win for the Aztec Canines.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. 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 local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.