TIJUANA - Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente look to put their road troubles behind them as they come back home to host Monterrey in week six action of the Clausura 2014 season of LIGA Bancomer MX.
The match is scheduled for today Friday, February 7 at 7:30pm local time from the Estadio Caliente in Tijuana, Baja California. The match will be televised live in the United States on Azteca America and ESPN Deportes.
Club Tijuana are coming off of a 3-0 defeat in Mexico City to Pumas UNAM, but at home they seem unbeatable as of late. They went all of the Apertura 2013 season undefeated at home; including CONCACAF Champion’s League matches. They have begun 2014 with the same dominant form in their home turf.
The main problem with the Tijuana Xolos this season that has not allowed them to pick up a win on the road, or even get bigger wins at home has been the lack of form of their forwards who are not scoring goals.
Herculez Gomez who has started every game this season is still trying to find his groove after being injured most of last season. Dario Benedetto has not been able to complete an entire month of matches without being injured; he has started to train with the team again and could return against Monterrey. Young forward Paul Arriola is still struggling to get use to the Farias style of play; Arriola is more comfortable playing down the wings, while Farias has him in a more central forward role; same case with Fidel Martinez.
New signing Jaimen Ayovi is has not been able to feature much for Club Tijuana since joining also due to injury.
So far in five matches this season, Xolos have scored three goals all coming from either defensive midfielder Cristian Pellerano (two) or central defender Javier Gandolfi (one). The forwards need to start finding their form in order to pick the team up.
Another player that could be ready to return after missing a few games with an ankle injury is American midfielder Joe Corona. His free role behind the strikers and in front of the holding midfielders, as well as his vision of passing could be the key to opening up space for the forwards to break the ice in the scoring sheet.
The opponent on hand for the Xoloitzcuintles is Monterrey, who have not been living their finest form either. Monterrey are coming off of a disappointing “Clasico Regiomontano” where they drew 0-0 against local city rivals Tigres UANL. Before that they suffered a 2-0 loss in Toluca where they were dominated from start to finish.
Monterrey are also suffering in the attacking portion of the field as their biggest weapon, Chilean international Humberto “Chupete” Suazo had to have shoulder surgery. Thier newest signing Marlon de Jesus has shown promising signs, but is still trying to get a custom to the Mexican league.