Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Toluca
When: Friday, April 27, 2018
Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico
Time: 7:00 P.M. PST
TV: Univision Deportes
The Tijuana Xolos will play their last game in the Liga MX Clausura 2018 regular season this Friday when the Aztec Canines host Toluca at the Estadio Caliente.
Club Tijuana is coming off a 1-1 draw against Leon away from home and is undefeated in its last three games. However, the Xoloitzcuintles only have one win in their last six games and could be due for a tough match this Friday. The Border City Dogs are currently in eighth place with 22 points in the Liga MX, and a win in this match would basically secure a playoff spot. A loss, or even a draw, would mean that Diego Cocca’s team would need to rely on other results across the league to get into the postseason.
The attack has been fueled recently by Miller Bolanos, who now has five goals this season, and the defense has been as solid as ever led by Pablo Aguilar. Goalkeeper Gibran Lajud was key in the last game against Leon and has been a vital player for Diego Cocca all season long. Cocca is likely to go all out in this game, especially with the home-field advantage, and really use an offensive style of play. This should ensure success at the Estadio Caliente, especially when considering other factors heading into this match, like Toluca’s potential lineup.
Toluca has guaranteed a first-place finish this season, currently in first place with 36 points. Los Diablos Rojos have won nine consecutive games in this tournament, and with the playoffs around the corner, are likely to use an alternate squad. Reports directly from Toluca suggest that Hernan Cristante will use some backups in this final game of the regular season to have his starters fresh for the postseason.
This alternate squad will still likely feature a couple of starters and is still a team with very solid players that have potential. Some of the more intriguing players that could feature in this match include attacking midfielder Angel Reyna and Colombian striker Fernando Uribe. Toluca has been one of the best teams in the Liga MX this season, but may struggle at the Estadio Caliente with an alternate side this Friday.
Players to Watch
With a possible alternate squad in place for Toluca, it is hard to say which players will be in Hernan Cristante’s starting XI this Friday. One of the likely candidates is attacking midfielder Angel Reyna, who has two goals in all competitions for Toluca this season. The 33-year-old was once a top scorer in the Liga MX, but still has that flair, skill, and explosiveness that made him one of the best players in the league at one point in his career. Reyna will command the attack if he gets the start in this game and will need to be kept in check by Tijuana’s defenders.
The Ecuadorian attacking midfielder has become the most vital player in Club Tijuana’s attack in the last month. Bolanos leads the Aztec Canines with five goals and also has an assist to his name in eight games as a starter this season. The 27-year-old has been the focal point of the attack for the Xolos in their last few games and will need to step up in this game to ensure a favorable result for his team.
The Tijuana Xolos should be able to win this game as they will have the home-field advantage and will likely be facing an alternate Toluca team. The Border City Dogs have scored 16 of their 17 goals at the Estadio Caliente in this tournament and have played much better in front of the home crowd. EVT predicts a 2-1 win for the Aztec Canines that should get the border city team into the playoffs in the final game of the regular season. The game should be very intense and entertaining with the high-stakes the Xolos have riding on the encounter.