Tijuana Xolos Liga MX CL 18 Week 10 Preview: Xolos Seek Offensive Revival Against Lobos BUAP

Credit: Xolos

Credit: Xolos

Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Lobos BUAP

When: Friday, March 2, 2018

Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico

Time: 7:00 P.M. PST

The Tijuana Xolos will play their 10th game in the Liga MX Clausura 2018 this Friday as Club Tijuana is set to host Lobos BUAP at the Estadio Caliente.

The Aztec Canines are coming off an impressive 0-0 draw against Club America at the Estadio Azteca in Liga MX Play and a 1-1 draw against Motagua in the CONCACAF Champions League. The Border City Dogs are living a good moment as the team has advanced to the quarterfinals of the CCL and is currently just a point out of a playoff spot in the Liga MX. Diego Cocca’s defense has been impeccable, along with goalkeeper Gibran Lajud having a league-low five goals allowed.

The offense has been the main concern as the Xolos have yet to score away from home, and just have seven goals so far in nine games played. There are also some major injury worries at the moment, that are very unclear. Juan Martin Lucero, Ignacio Malcorra, and Gustavo Bou are currently injured and there is not much information on when they will be ready to return to the field. For now, the team will need to rely on that defense and players like Mateus Goncalves and Miller Bolanos in the attack. The Xoloitzcuintles have only lost one home game this season and have had their best performances so far at the Mictlan. This should be a very winnable game for the border city side, especially with the home-field advantage and anything but a win would be a failure for the team.

Lobos BUAP has been one of the worst teams in this Clausura 2018, currently in 16th place with just eight points.

The team from Puebla is trying to avoid relegation this season and is coming off a huge 5-0 win against Veracruz that could play a huge role in the race to avoid falling into the Ascenso MX. La Manada has some exciting players in the offense like Gabriel Cortez, Irven Avila, and Julian Quinones. Manager Rafael Puente Jr. also uses a very aggressive, intense, and offensive style of play that can be very enticing to watch. The problem is that this style of play leaves the defense vulnerable to counter attacks. It also does not help that the defense is not the most reliable and the team also has an inconsistent goalkeeper in Jorge Villalpando. Lobos BUAP looked flawless last week in its 5-0 win against Los Tiburones, but has proven to be a very beatable side.

Players To Watch

Mateus Goncalves

The Brazilian winger will be the focal point of the attack for Xolos with the likely absences of Ignacio Malcorra, Juan Martin Lucero, and Gustavo Bou. Goncalves has not done much since his impressive performance against Pumas UNAM, but will need to step up in this match. His speed could be extremely useful against a team like Lobos BUAP to strike on some counters.

Gabriel Cortez

Cortez is quite an intriguing player that just came to the Liga MX this season from Ecuador. He is also known as “El Loco” and has a very distinct hairstyle to go along with his nickname. The 22-year-old does have some pace, is very skillful with the ball, and has a decent shot on him as well. Cortez scored a goal and had two assists in Lobos’ 5-0 win against Veracruz last week and seems to be adapting well to the Liga MX so far.

Prediction

The game should be quite an exciting clash and should be one to watch this weekend in the Liga MX as it could be filled with some goals. Diego Cocca will need to let La Manada control the game and strike on counters, as other teams have done against Lobos BUAP this season. The Xolos should be able to get the three points from the game and the prediction for the match is a 3-2 win for the home team.

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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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