Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Monterrey
When: Saturday, March 16, 2019
Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico
Time: 8:06 P.M. PST
TV: Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Deportes
It is now more than the halfway point of the Liga MX 2019 Clausura season as the Tijuana Xolos are having a solid season, currently in a playoff position. Club Tijuana is in sixth place with 16 points as there are only seven games until the end of the regular season.
However, the Xoloitzcuintles are coming off a horrendous 4-0 loss to Pachuca away from home, which served as a reality check for the team. That loss to Los Tuzos demonstrated the cruel competitiveness of the league and showcased what happens when everything goes wrong.
The Aztec Canines’ backline was pitiful in that encounter and the midfield did not provide any coverage whatsoever. This should be a less complicated game since it will be at the Estadio Caliente, but it will still be against a very tough opponent, Monterrey.
The Border City Dogs’ latest result was a 1-0 win against Monarcas Morelia in the Copa MX as Tijuana is now in the semifinals of the competition. The Xoloitzcuintles still have injuries to key players like Omar Mendoza and Fabian Castillo, but there are no current updates on their health. The Xolos still have a very solid squad, especially in the attack and should try to use their home-field advantage as best as possible.
Monterrey has been one of the best teams in the Liga MX 2019 Clausura, currently in third place with 22 points. Los Rayados are coming off a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Tigres UANL and are still the only undefeated team in the 2019 Clausura tournament.
Los Regios have one of the strongest squads in the Americas with players like Rogelio Funes Mori, Dorlan Pabon, Maximiliano Meza and former Xolos’ forward Aviles Hurtado. Monterrey’s attack gets plenty of praise, but the backline might be the best in the league with Jesus Gallardo, Miguel Layun and Cesar Montes, who all play with the Mexico national team.
Nicolas Sanchez is also one of the best centre-backs in the league and he can also score goals as he has scored six goals in all competitions. Monterrey is one of the clear-cut title favorites this season and the team should not be fazed by the Xolos’ home-field advantage.
Players to Watch
The Xoloitzcuintles’ goalkeeper will need to have a tremendous performance in order to get any points from this game. Lajud has had his moments this season and should be motivated to perform as he was kept off of the Mexico national team roster. Monterrey is a team that likes to take a lot of shots from range and the 25-year-old shot-stopper will surely be tested.
Rogelio Funes Mori
Monterrey has a stacked squad, but the standout player has to be Rogelio Funes Mori as he is leading the team with eight goals scored this season. The Argentine striker is averaging about a goal a game this season and is a natural goalscorer with his positioning and remarkable finishing abilities.
EVT predicts a 2-0 win for Monterrey as Los Rayados have a much better squad and should be able to take advantage of the Xoloitzcuintles drop in form.