Xolos vs Pumas: Miguel “Piojo” Herrera Aims to Maintain Perfect Streak at Home

Xolos vs Pumas: Miguel “Piojo” Herrera Aims to Maintain Perfect Streak at Home

After struggling to find a single victory in the Estadio Caliente last season, Club Tijuana has now gone three for three with nine points gained at home in the 2016 Apertura. In fact, Xolos have yet to even allow a goal in their border town fortress during said three matches.

With a current spot at first place in the league table, Tijuana fans have plenty to celebrate about the team’s current run, but must also be cautious about the upcoming September schedule.

After facing off against Pumas this Friday, and taking part in a short FIFA international break afterwards, Miguel “Piojo” Herrera and company will return with three straight away games in seven days for the Copa MX and Apertura tournaments.

Keeping this in mind, it’s important for Herrera to bring in a victory this Friday before potentially slipping up during next month’s difficult lineup of matches.

Should Tijuana fear Pumas? It’s tough to say. For most of this young season, there hasn’t been anything that has truly stood out from the squad. During the first three games of the competition, the Mexico City club was able to sneak past opponents with just two goals scored and none allowed. Were it not for outstanding performances from goalkeeper Alejandro Palacios, the team could have easily lost all three matches. However, it must be noted that the attack has recently been firing on all cylinders. A perfect example of this was seen during Pumas’ dramatic 5-3 victory over Monterrey last weekend.

With usual starting striker Eduardo Herrera on the bench, Matias Britos took over the game and collected a hat-trick within the first 32 minutes of the match. Los Rayados, shell-shocked and desperate for a goal, fought back but eventually lost to the dominant home side. If manager Francisco Palencia once again benches Herrera and starts Britos as the focal point in the final third, Xolos should be careful against the Uruguayan who will be sprinting into this game with a massive boost in his self-esteem.

Also, although Palacios allowed three goals in his last match, it’s doubtful that he will once again allow the same to happen this Friday. With high-flying saves that have defined the recent resurgence of the veteran’s career, Palacios will be sure put on a show at the Estadio Caliente. Herrera will likely use his attack-friendly 4-3-3 formation against Pumas, but it would be wise for him to test out a couple of new names.

If Juninho is at full health and ready to play, giving the Brazilian minutes in Ignacio Malcor