Tijuana Xolos Liga MX 2019 Apertura Preview: Xolos face Leon for must-win game in final game of season

Credit: LIGA MX

Credit: Club Leon FC

Game: Tijuana Xolos vs. Leon

Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico

When: Friday, Nov.22, 2019

Time: 7:10 P.M. PST

TV: Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes

The Tijuana Xolos will play their last game of the Liga MX 2019 Apertura season this Friday, Nov. 22, at the Estadio Caliente against Leon. Club Tijuana is currently in ninth place with 24 points and has to win this last game to get into the playoffs.

The Xoloitzcuintles have a terrible goal differential of negative nine, and Monterrey must also lose its final game against Atlas to get into the playoffs. The Aztec Canines are not living a great moment, currently on a two-game losing streak, coming off a rough 4-0 loss to Monterrey at home.

The border city side has conceded seven goals and has failed to score in its last two games as momentum is low heading into this clash. Club Tijuana has been plagued by inconsistency all season long as the offense has had its ups and downs, and the defense has been pretty lackluster.

The backline has been Tijuana’s biggest problem as the Xolos have conceded 34 goals this season, which is the second-worst in the league. Centre-back Jordan Silva received a red card in Xolos’ lost to Monterrey and will consequently not be able to play in this match.

Manager Oscar Pareja has been changing up his lineup all season and is still yet to find a lineup that he is entirely comfortable with. The Colombian manager has already been linked to moves away from Club Tijuana, and if the border city team misses out on the playoffs, he will surely be out the door.

Leon has secured its place in the playoffs, currently in fourth place with 30 points, and can finish as high as second place with a win in this game. Los Esmeraldas are on a two-game undefeated streak, coming off a dominant 4-0 win to Toluca at home.

La Fiera has scored 36 goals this season, which is the second-best in the Liga MX, only behind first-place Santos Laguna. Leon also has a solid goalkeeper in Rodolfo Cota and a strong backline that features Colombian internationals Yairo Moreno and William Tesillo.

Players to Watch

Miller Bolanos

Bolanos has clearly been the Xoloitzcuintles’ best player this season, currently leading the league with nine assists. The Ecuadorian forward can take advantage of the right flank in this match as Yairo Moreno pushes up a lot offensively and leaves gaps in the backline.

Jose Juan Macias

The Mexican striker has been Leon’s top scorer with eight goals scored this season and is one of the best young players in the Liga MX. Macias’ positioning and finishing abilities are fantastic, and his days in the Mexican league seem to be counted as there are rumors linking him to European teams.

Prediction

This is set to be a very intense match at the Estadio Caliente as the Xolos need to win to get into the playoffs and also given the rivalry between the two teams. EVT predicts a 2-2 draw between Xolos and Leon in this clash as it is set to be a very hard-fought for the Xoloitzcuintles.

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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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