Atlas vs Club Tijuana preview: Xolos Head to Guadalajara Without Key Figures

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Atlas vs Club Tijuana preview: Xolos Head to Guadalajara Without Key Figures

During the next few weeks, Tijuana will have to carry on without manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera. Following a two-game suspension for comments towar

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During the next few weeks, Tijuana will have to carry on without manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera.

Following a two-game suspension for comments towards referees in the 1-1 draw with Santos Laguna, Herrera was given another three-match ban after an altercation with a fan. With a five-game punishment now set for the former national team coach, Herrera will not return to the sidelines until Xolos’ match against Tigres on April 29th.

Looking ahead to this Saturday’s away game against Atlas, things will only become more complicated for Tijuana when you consider that midfielder Guido Rodriguez will also be missing. Thanks to a red shown in the match against Santos, the hard-working defensive midfielder will be left out this weekend.

Although this could all spell doom for Xolos, Atlas will also be without an important figure of its own: Rafael Marquez. After suffering an injury during the international break, the Mexico legend is expected to be missing from Saturday’s gameday roster.

Despite the influence that Rodriguez and Herrera carry for Tijuana, Marquez’s absence should prove to be more significant for Atlas.

With this in mind, the less-than-100-percent Xolos will have a big opportunity to gain three points before embarking on a difficult April schedule. Considering the fact that Tijuana will have to face America, Tigres, Queretaro and Toluca this month, the team should be highly-motivated to earn a much-needed victory.

Key to success for Tijuana — Shutting down Matias Alustiza

With three goals and two assists, Alustiza is a vital member of Atlas’ attack. If Xolos are hoping to emerge from Guadalajara with a win in hand, they’ll need to first silence the 32-year-old who has launched 25 shots this season.

Xolos player to watch — Juan Carlos Medina

If there was ever a time for Medina to make a case for himself, it’s this Saturday night. The veteran has rarely been able to earn or maintain a starting role, but with Rodriguez now suspended for the upcoming game, Medina now has a golden opportunity to shine for Tijuana.

Keep an eye on the 33-year who will likely be given a starting spot as a defensive midfielder.

Predicted score — Atlas 1-2 Tijuana

As mentioned earlier, Marquez’s omission will be greater than that of Herrera and Rodriguez combined. I’m thinking that Xolos won’t be at their best, but they should still be able to secure three points through an exciting attack led by Aviles Hurtado.

Predicted Xolos starting XI: