Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Toluca
Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico
When: Friday, March 17, 2023
Time: 8:05 p.m. PST
TV: ESPN Deportes, ESPN+
The Tijuana Xolos will host Toluca at the Estadio Caliente for a game in the 12th round of matches in the Liga MX 2023 Clausura this Friday, March 17, 2023. This is set to be a very tough match for Club Tijuana, as Toluca has been one of the best teams of the season.
Los Diablos Rojos are currently in second place with 21 points on the 2023 Clausura table and are coming off a dominant 4-1 win against Mazatlan FC. Toluca has only lost one game in its last six Liga MX games played and has five wins in this impressive run of form.
Los Escarlatas are led by one of the most revered managers in the Liga MX in, Ignacio Ambriz, and have a very competitive squad. Carlos Gonzalez and Maximilliano Araujo lead the team with four goals scored each. Still, there are several components to Toluca’s offense, like Jean Meneses, former Xolo’ Marcel Ruiz, and Leo Fernandez. It is unclear if Fernandez will miss this game due to an injury, but “Nacho” Ambriz has several players that can go in his place, including former Xolos players like Camilo Sanvezzo and Edgar Lopez.
Club Tijuana is coming off a hard-fought 3-2 loss to Santos Laguna away from home but will now look to extend its home undefeated streak to four games. The Xoloitzcuintles have a very nice run of form at home that includes a win against the current Liga MX champions, Pachuca.
Injuries have plagued the border city team a bit, as Rodrigo Parra and Leonel Lopez were both subbed out of the game against Santos due to injuries. However, it is likely that team captain Lisandro Lopez will now be back from his injury after missing Tijuana’s Week 11 match. Lopez has been a key player for the Aztec Canines all season long, as his leadership and defensive prowess were clearly missed against Santos Laguna.
Fernando Valenzuela will also be back after serving a suspension, as he has been a key component of Miguel Herrera’s offense since the manager’s arrival. It seems that Herrera is yet to find a consistent starting 11 with several recent injuries, and it will be interesting to see if he switches up the lineup once again.
Players to watch
The Club Tijuana goalkeeper will need to have another strong performance against a Toluca team with plenty of offensive power. Rodriguez has been one of Xolos’ best players this season, and he has played a key role in nearly all of Tijuna’s positive results in the 2023 Clausura.
The former Xolos midfielder has been having a fantastic season as he has worn the captain’s armband for Toluca for the first time in his career. Ruiz has also been called up to the Mexico national team for the first time in his young career this season, as his impressive performances have granted him well-deserved recognition. The Mexican midfielder is a box-to-box player, as he has the qualities to provide on both ends of the pitch. His passing ability is one of his strongest qualities, as his vision and playmaking abilities are oustanding.
EVT predicts a 1-1 draw at the Estadio Caliente as this is a tough match for Club Tijuana, as mentioned before. The Xoloitzcuintles have the potential to come away with some points from this match with their substancial home-field advantage, but against a team of this quality, it may not be enough.
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.