Looking ahead to Xolos’ home match against Atlas this Friday, I can’t help but bring up statistics involving the two Liga MX clubs.
For starters, let’s take a look at the home form for Tijuana. In five league matches, manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera has gained an impressive tally of five wins at the Estadio Caliente. It’s also important to note that in those games, Xolos goalkeeper Federico Vilar has conceded just one goal.
As for Atlas, the Guadalajara club has yet to gain a single victory in the five away matches in the tournament. With just five goals scored during that run, Los Rojinegros are averaging just one goal a game in away matches.
Although Atlas has compensated slightly with three wins at home, one of which was a recent 3-1 victory over Monterrey, it’s difficult to assume that middling roster will do much against Tijuana this Friday night.
Veteran Rafael Marquez does have the potential to take charge of the game for Los Rojinegros, but after injuries to key players in the backline, it appears likely that the influential leader will continue to maintain a spot in the defense and not the midfield.
Despite the fact that it’s absurd to confidently predict any Liga MX encounter, Friday’s is one in which any Xolos supporter should feel certain for three points gained. Herrera’s attack is far too dangerous for Atlas to contain, and considering Dayro Moreno’s momentum, there is a chance that Tijuana can find the back of the net a few times at the Estadio Caliente.
The only bad news, and potential game-changer, is an injury worry for central defender Emanuel Aguilera. After suffering a knock in the second half of last week’s away win over Santos Laguna, the Argentine was substituted out and taken off on a cart in the 74th minute. At time of writing, no details have yet to emerge about the severity, and considering his recent previous injury, it might be safe to assume that he will be left out this Friday.
If Aguilera is left out, will Herrera replace him with Yasser Corona? Will he move Michael Orozco to a more central role and bring in right-back Juan Carlos Nuñez?
Either way, it’s tough to assume that Atlas will benefit greatly from the potential decision. With or without Aguilera, Xolos should have no problems gaining three points, holding onto first place, and moving one step closer to the playoffs.
Predicted score: Xolos 2-0 Atlas
Predicted Xolos starting XI: