Game: Tijuana Xolos vs Atlas
Where: Estadio Caliente, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
When: Friday, March 3, 2023
Time: 7:15 p.m. PST
TV: Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes
The Tijuana Xolos will host Atlas at the Estadio Caliente this Friday, March 3, 2023, for a game in the 10th round of matches in the Liga MX 2023 Clausura. Club Tijuana has a two-game winning streak going at home and will be looking to extend that streak after a significant win against Pachuca.
The Aztec Canines were able to defeat the current Liga MX champions by a score of 2-0 at the Mictlan this past Sunday, Feb.26, as Alexis Canelo and Lisandro Lopez scored the goals that led to the three points. Manager Miguel Herrera played a huge role in the victory as he tweaked the lineup significantly, starting Lucas Cavallini and making Lisandro Lopez more of a defensive midfielder.
Lopez excelled in this role as his task in the game against Pachuca was to man-mark Eduardo Lopez, who had a pretty dismal performance. Rodrigo Godinez and Nicolas Diaz functioned as the centre-back pairing, but “Licha” Lopez did occasionally drift into the centre-back slot to form a five-man backline. Alejandro Martinez did very well as a wing-back in the match as it will be interesting to see if “Piojo” tries these tactics against Atlas.
Herrera also employed a more conservative approach in the second half of the match against Pachuca, which was crucial for the three points. Club Tijuana has historically been a dominant team at home and will look to restore that reputation after it was tarnished a bit with previous manager Ricardo Valino.
Atlas has had a very rough season, currently in 15th place with just eight points from nine games played. The team from Guadalajara is on a dismal eight-game winless streak, which stretches all the way to the first game of the 2023 Clausura season. Los Zorros are coming off a 2-2 draw against Club America that broke a three-game losing streak and will now be looking to snap the winless streak.
Manager Benjamin Mora, who is from Tijuana, is on the hot seat, and Friday night’s clash at the Estadio Caliente has the potential to be his last with Atlas this season. Atlas has a talented team with several players who still remain from their back-to-back league title-winning teams, like Julio Furch, Julian Quinones, Camilo Vargas, and Aldo Rocha.
Quinones and Furch are especially dangerous in the attack, but there are other players to keep an eye on, like Brian Lozano, who scored two goals against Club America in Atlas’ last match. Atlas has the talent but has been highly inconsistent, as this will be a very winnable match for the Xoloitzcuintles.
Players to Watch
The Club Tijuana team captain put in a spectacular performance against Pachuca playing out of position in Xolos’ last game, and now it will be very interesting to see how Miguel Herrera utilizes him. Lopez has a very dominant physical presence but has always shown that he can contribute to the attack with his passing ability and attacking positioning.
Rodriguez was called up to the Mexico national team and will be more motivated than ever to put in a positive performance. The Mexican goalkeeper is also now fighting for his starting role at Xolos, with Jonathan Orozco returning from injury as he will look to keep up his spectacular season.
EVT predicts a 2-1 win for Club Tijuana in this match as Atlas has been struggling, and it is a perfect opportunity for Xolos to extend their home win streak to three games.
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.