Xolos seek final playoff push at Puebla: Tijuana Xolos 2023 Clausura Preview

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Alexis Canelo
Credit: Jeremy Collins/ EVT Sports

Game: Puebla vs Tijuana Xolos

Where: Estadio Cuauhtemoc, Puebla, Mexico

When: Saturday, April 29, 2023

Time: 4:00 p.m. PST


The Tijuana Xolos will play their final regular season game of the Liga MX 2023 Clausura season against Puebla this Saturday, April 29, at the Estadio Cuauhtemoc. The game was originally scheduled for Friday, April 28, but Club Tijuana’s flight to Puebla was canceled due to volcanic ash in the Puebla atmosphere from the Popocatepetl volcano.

Both teams are still in the Liga MX playoff hunt this season, along with six other teams, as it has come down to the final matchday.

Club Tijuana is currently in 15th place with 16 points and can finish as high as 11th place with a win from this match. This game is a must-win game for both sides, as a draw will not benefit either team with the current standings. This is set to be a very hard-fought match in Puebla, and it will be especially difficult for Xolos given their road struggles in the 2023 Clausura.

The Aztec Canines have only won one out of seven road games in this campaign, and that lone win was against last-place Mazatlan. The Xoloitzcuintles are coming off an uninspiring scoreless draw against Leon at home in a game where yet again, goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez was the star for the border city club.

Manager Miguel Herrera was not on the sidelines in that match against Leon due to a suspension but will now be back for this game in Puebla. Herrera decided to bench Lucas Cavallini in the previous match, and it will be interesting to see if he gets the start against his former team at the stadium, where he scored several goals over the years.

Puebla has been a similar team to Xolos in this 2023 Clausura, currently in 14th place with 17 points from 16 games played. La Franja is on a disastrous run of form as the Camoteros have only won one of their last five games played and are coming off a 1-0 loss to Tigres UANL away from home.

Puebla has specifically struggled defensively, as the southern Mexican team has conceded 30 goals this season, which is the third-highest mark in Liga MX. The midfield led by Argentine veteran Federico Mancuello is Puebla’s strongest component and has the potential to cause some trouble for Club Tijuana.

Players to watch

Alexis Canelo Xolos
Credit: Xolos

Alexis Canelo

Club Tijuana will need a strong performance by their top goalscorer in this must-win match away from home. Canelo played a few seasons at Puebla and is very familiar with the Estadio Cuauhtemoc as he will try and be the antagonist against his former club.

Federico Mancuello

There have been a lot of problems with Puebla this season, but Federico Mancuello has been the shining light on the team. The Argentine midfielder has scored four goals and provided five assists this season, as he has been one of the best offensive midfielders in Liga MX. Mancuello has outstanding vision and passing abilities that make him a danger to any Liga MX backline.

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