Xolos seek first win with interim manager against Atletico San Luis: Tijuana Xolos 2023 Clausura Preview
The Tijuana Xolos will host Atletico San Luis at the Estadio Caliente this Friday, Feb.10, 2023, for a game in the sixth round of matches in the Liga MX 2023 Clausura season. Club Tijuana is still yet to win a game this season as former manager Ricardo Valino received the axe, and interim manager Cirilo Saucedo will be at the helm for this match.
Saucedo is the former U-20 Xolos head coach but is not expected to be around for longer than this game due to managers like Miguel Herrera and Ricardo Ferretti linked to the permanent job. Xolos is coming off a 1-1 draw against Necaxa away from home in a match that had the potential to be won, with some key opportunities. Midfielder Federico Lertora received a red card in that match and will subsequently be unavailable for this match in Week 6.
The Aztec Canines are going into this game with a loss and four draws on the season, as a win is urgent to get back on track this season. The border city club has historically been a prominent force at home in the Estadio Caliente, and this is a very winnable match against Atletico San Luis. Los Potosinos are currently sixth in the Liga MX 2023 Clausura with eight points from five games played.
San Luis is coming off a 2-0 win at home against Puebla, where former Xolos’ midfielder Javier Guemez scored one of the two goals on the day. Despite San Luis’ success to start the season, the team is not a title contender in any sense of the word and is not even expected to make a top-four spot.
The central Mexican side lost one of its best players, Abel Hernandez, in the offseason and is still adjusting offensively to the change. Manager Andre Jardine implements a very pragmatic and defensive style of play, but he will not be on the sidelines for this match, having received a red card against Puebla.
San Luis is still expected to play with a defensive style of play with not much possession of the ball and quick counter-attacks with players like Jhon Murillo and Juan Manuel Sanabria. Goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero is inconsistent, but he has been able to keep two clean sheets this season as he has the potential to make a difference in the match.
Players to Watch
Cavallini confirmed on Thursday that he is physically in top condition and is ready to step on the pitch for Club Tijuana. The Canadian striker seems hungry for goals and is eager and excited to be back in Mexico’s top-flight division after a stin in MLS. Cavallini offers a lot of physicality, which has the potential to be useful against a team like Atletico San Luis, who rely on physicality and defensive play. The Canadian international has proven to be a top Liga MX striker when he is on form, and it will be interesting to see if he gets the start. Club Tijuana has only scored three goals all season, and a change in the attack is necessary.
Federico Lertora is a very notable absence for Xolos in this match, as the Argentine midfielder controls the duels in the midfield for the border city side. Guemez is coming off a fantastic performance against Puebla, where he scored a stunning goal from range. The San Luis captain has the ability to take advantage of Lertora’s absence for Tijuana and really exploit the midfield. Guemez spent a few seasons at Xolos and is no stranger to the artificial turf at the Estadio Caliente.
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Club Tijuana is expected to be given possession of the ball in this match, but this does not necessarily translate to a lot of goals. Xolos have struggled to score this season, but as mentioned before, Lucas Cavallini has the ability to score goals for this team. EVT predicts a 1-0 win for Xolos in this match in what is expected to be a hard-fought clash at the Estadio Caliente.
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.