Tijuana Xolos Liga MX AP 17 Week 9 Preview: “Piojo” and Guido Face Xolos at Estadio Caliente

Credit: LIGA MX

Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Club America

When: Friday, Sept.15, 2017

Where: Estadio Caliente

Time: 7:00 P.M. PST

TV: Univision Deportes

 

This Friday, Sept. 15, the Xolos will host Club America for their ninth match in the Liga MX Apertura 2017.

The match should be one of the more interesting games this weekend with the return of Miguel Herrera and Guido Rodriguez to Tijuana and the good form that both teams are in. The battle will be between the second place (Club America) and third Place (Club Tijuana) teams in the league and has significant importance for both sides.

The Tijuana Xolos look to have finally sorted things out with Eduardo Coudet at the helm and are now in third place with 13 points.

The border city side is on a blazing hot streak, undefeated in its last five Liga MX games, winning its last four. This winning streak originated at the Estadio Caliente in week 5 of the competition when Club Tijuana defeated Santos Laguna 2-0. Since then the Aztec Canines have defeated Queretaro away from home, Pachuca at home, and Pumas UNAM away from home. The latest result for the Xolos was a 2-0 away win against Pumas UNAM that really showcased what Eduardo Coudet and his team are about this season.

The Prehistoric Dogs achieved the 2-0 win, but only had a mere 38-percent possession. Los Xoloitzcuintles have not been playing beautifully throughout this win-streak, but have been very effective, especially with the rigid back line of five to protect leads. Once Eduardo Coudet’s team has the lead, it is very hard to break down, which is something that was characteristic of Miguel Herrera’s Xolos last season. This should be a very tough game for the Xolos as even the home-field advantage may not be enough to get the three points from the game.

Club America is arguably the most liked and most hated club in Mexico and that will be showcased at the Estadio Caliente this Friday night. The home-field advantage for the Xolos may not be a deciding factor in this game because of the plethora of Club America fans that will be at this match. Miguel Herrera is, of course, also the manager of the Mexico City team, and has surely prepared his team to play on the Estadio Caliente’s synthetic turf that can be problematic for visiting players.

The return of “El Piojo” to Tijuana is one of the main story lines heading into this clash and it will be interesting to see how the fans react to Herrera and how the Mexican manager fares in his return to the artificial grass. Herrera has fared well in his second stint with Club America, currently leading Las Aguilas to 16 points from the first eight games in the Liga MX Apertura 2017. Los Azulcremas are currently sitting in second place and look to be a team that can contend for the title once the playoffs kick off. Club America has only won one game out of its last three, but that win was a 2-0 victory against Veracruz that came last week. Los Capitalinos are not going into this game as hot as the Xolos, but will surely still make it a complicated game for the home team.

Players to Watch

Gustavo Bou

Bou is currently the main man with the Tijuana Xolos as the Argentine has scored five goals in Club Tijuana’s last five games. The South American striker has established himself as one of the most clinical finishers in the Liga MX early on and should continue to make an impact as the weeks go by. Bou’s latest goal was a beautiful one-timer from outside of the box into the bottom-left corner against Pumas UNAM that showcased the Argentinian’s deadly finishing ability. Bou has a little bit of everything that is ideal for a prominent striker in the Liga MX, and it will be interesting to see what kind of impact he can have in a big game like this.

Guido Rodriguez

Miguel “Piojo” Herrera will not be the only ex-Xolo returning to the Estadio Caliente as Club America has three former Club Tijuana players on its roster. Those players are Carlos Vargas, Pablo Aguilar, and most notably, Guido Rodriguez. The Argentine was arguably the most crucial player for the Xoloitzcuintles last season in that defensive midfield role. The 22-year-old was magnificent at recovering the ball, passing, shooting, and starting up plays in the attack. The former River Plate man inclusively showed a lot of leadership despite his young age, and made his presence felt on the pitch. Rodriguez is arguably one of the most talented players that has ever played for the Xolos, but is having a slow start with his new team. The Argentine knows the synthetic turf of the Estadio Caliente very well and could be due for a spectacular game in his return to the Mictlan. Aviles Hurtado had a successful return to the border city, scoring two goals in Monterey’s 3-0 win against the Xolos earlier this season, and Rodriguez may be due for a similar performance in this game.

The Verdict

The game will be intense, especially with the vibrant atmosphere that is expected at the Estadio Caliente. Both teams will want to get the three points out of the game and the match will be very interesting with all the story lines following it. The prediction for the match is an exciting 1-1 draw between the two teams, ending the Xolos’ winning streak, but not Gustavo Bou’s scoring streak, and Guido Rodriguez returning as a villain for the home support with a goal of his own. If the Xolos can keep on playing effectively they should not lose this game, but a win may be out of reach against “El Piojo”.

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Francisco Velasco
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.
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