Tigres vs Tijuana – Saturday 5 pm PT/8 pm ET Estadio Universitario – Monterrey.
After losing the midweek, CONCACAF Champions League final against Pachuca Tigres are in a must win situation against Tijuana on Saturday. The math is simple a defeat against Tijuana, and Tigres are out of the Liguilla race.
It would be another significant blow for a side that just one week ago seemed on the verge of finally winning their first international title. What followed was a 1-1 draw at home in the first leg against Pachuca, a defeat in the Clasico Regio against Monterrey, and then to top it all off a second leg defeat to Pachuca in the CONCACAF Champions League final on Wednesday.
The defeat in the Champions League final could put a major dampener on an otherwise excellent 2016-17 season for Tigres. The club won the Apertura last Christmas and then reached a third consecutive international final.
— Futbolgrad (@FutbolgradLive) April 28, 2017
The Clausura season was, therefore, more or less put on the shelf as the club focused on winning international glory. As a result, Tigres are just ninth in the table, and with just two games left in the regular season need to win both games to be ensured a place among the top eight teams in the table.
Xolos from Tijuana in the meantime have already secured their spot in the Liguilla. Xolos, in fact, sit first in the table and coached by former Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera have developed into one of the most consistent sides in Liga MX. Herrera, who was dismissed from his role as Mexico’s head coach after an altercation with a journalist, has resurrected his career with Xolos.
Under Herrera have Xolos have quietly developed into the country’s best side, finishing first in the Apertura, and potentially Clausura is no small feat, and they could even be favourites on the Clausura title. Tijuana have been the most consistent side for the entire 2016-17 season, and they will, therefore, be favourites in the clash against Tigres on Saturday.
Tigres vs Tijuana – Players to look out for:
Ismael Sosa #18 – Tigres
Ismael Sosa has been one of the few bright spots in the Clausura. Signed from Pumas in 2016 the Argentine forward has managed ten goals in 32 games for Tigres. Sosa also leads his side in assists in the Clausura. Nicknamed Chuco, Sosa is a dynamic forward who can play as either a forward, a false nine or a winger, and due to his ability to score and assist goals his the sides most complete forward.
Avilés Hurtado #18 – Tijuana
Avilés Hurtado has been the best player in the Clausura. Tijuana signed the Colombian attacking midfielder at the beginning of the 2016-17 season from Chiapas. But the native of Timbiqui needed time to adapt from life at one of Mexico’s strongest clubs, and as a result struggled to get on the score sheet during the Apertura. But Hurtado has exploded in the Clausura, and together with Pumas’ Nicolás Castillo the 30-year-old Hurtado leads the goal scoring race in the Clausura. With Hurtado on fire lately he will be Tijuana’s most valuable player once again, and Tigres will have to do well to stop him.
Tigres vs Tijuana – Match Stats
- The two sides score on average 2.2 Goals when they play each other.
- In eleven matches played against one another, both parties have an even record with three wins each and five draws.
- Tijuana have the best goal-scoring record (29 goals) in the Clausura.
- Tigres have the best defensive record (11 goals conceded) in the Clausura.
Prediction: Tigres vs Tijuana 0-2
Guzmán – Juninho, Ayala, Torres, Rodríguez – Aquino, Dueñas, Pizarro, Sosa – Vargas, Gignac
Coach: Ricardo Ferretti
Lajud – Nuñez, Vargas, Valenzuela, Muñoz – Arriola, Rodríguez, Corona, Malcorra – Hurtado – Caraglio
Coach: Miguel Herrera