Game: Pachuca vs Tijuana Xolos
When: Saturday, March 9, 2019
Where: Estadio Hidalgo, Pachuca, Mexico
Time: 3:00 P.M. PST
TV: Univision Deportes, ESPN Deportes
The Tijuana Xolos will visit the Estadio Hidalgo to face Pachuca this Saturday, March 9, for their 10th game in the Liga MX 2019 Clausura. The Aztec Canines have an impressive three-game winning streak in league play and are undefeated in their last eight games in all competitions.
Club Tijuana has won seven of these eight games and this includes a 2-1 win against Pachuca in the Copa MX. The Hairless Dogs are coming off a dominant 3-1 win against Atlas in league play at the Estadio Caliente and the border city team has not allowed more than a goal in a game in this undefeated streak.
The defense has been very solid for Oscar Pareja as the centre-back partnership of Diego Braghieri and Julian Velazquez has been magnificent. Right-back Omar Mendoza missed the last game due to an injury and his status is currently unknown, so it is unclear if he will start this match.
Fabian Castillo could be back from an injury, but he is still unlikely to start with Jesus Angulo and Eryc Castillo currently in good form. The Xolos are on an incredible run and are now fourth on the Liga MX table with 16 points, but could still struggle in this away match.
Pachuca has been solid this season and is lingering with a playoff spot, currently in ninth place with 14 points. Los Tuzos are coming off a rough 3-0 away loss to Tigres UANL, but were previously on a five-game undefeated streak in the Liga MX before that loss.
Los Hidalguenses have been impeccable at home as they have won all four games in league play at the Estadio Hidalgo this season. Pachuca has inclusively conceded just one goal at home and has a very talented squad that has responded since Martin Palermo took over as manager in Week 4.
Pachuca’s attack is the strongest component of the team with players like Franco Jara, Ismael Sosa, Victor Guzman and Edwin Cardona. However, Los Tuzos backline can be highly inconsistent as demonstrated in the game against Tigres UANL, where Stiven Barreiro scored two own goals.
Players to Watch
Nahuelpan finally scored his first goal for the Tijuana Xolos last week against Atlas as he put two goals past Los Zorros. Nahuelpan can be described as a “human tank” as he is a menace to any Liga MX backline with his height and physicality. The Argentine striker also lived some of the best moments of his career with Pachuca and it will be interesting to see what he can do against his former team.
The Colombian attacking midfielder can arguably be the most talented player in the Liga MX on his day. Cardona has an immense shot and great dribbling and passing skills that can terrorize any backline in the league. The South American playmaker is also very gifted at set-pieces and Gibran Lajud will need to be ready to contain his long-range strikes.
EVT predicts a 3-2 win for the Tijuana Xolos as this could be a game filled with plenty of goals given the great offenses on both teams.