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Toluca are the heavy favorites to nab three points when they travel to Tijuana on Friday. The match will take place at Tijuana’s home ground, the Estadio Caliente, as the Liga MX Apertura campaign resumes after the FIFA international break.
Toluca are in great form, heading into the clash with back-to-back home wins in the Mexican top division against CF Monterrey and 2022 Apertura winners Pachuca. Out of their last five games, the ten-time Liga MX champions have lost just one, followed by back-to-back draws and more recently, two wins.
Tijuana on the other hand, have not had a great season. They were thrashed by Puebla on their previous outing before the break, and have failed to win a single match of their last five. The 2012 Apertura winners have lost four of those matches and will desperately hope to get a result out of this encounter.
The head-to-head between these two teams is interestingly balanced out despite the stark differences in their current forms. The two teams have each won 15 games against each other out of a total of 38. The remaining eight games have ended in draws. Given the balanced previous record, it could be anyone’s game on Friday.
The most recent five meetings between these two teams also tell a similar story. Each club has won two games, one home and one away, with the most recent meeting between them in March 2023 ending a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Despite the balanced-out record of the previous meetings between these two teams, the current form of each side gives a clearer indication of which club is likely to win. Tijuana are suffering from poor form at home, whereas Toluca have enjoyed a decent away record. Therefore, the latter are picked as favorites to win this tie.
Club Tijuana are suffering in the current Apertura season that began just before the 2023 Leagues Cup. The 2012 Apertura champions have won just one match in all competitions since the start of the new campaign.
Los Xolos failed to win either of their group-stage fixtures in the Leagues Cup as they were bested by Queretaro FC and Philadelphia Union, resulting in them crashing out of the competition with zero points.
In Liga MX, Tijuana have recorded just one victory, and that came in the form of a 2-1 success over Cruz Azul at home in July. The team have performed poorly, failing to keep a clean sheet in their last nine matches, and failing to win a single game in their last five attempts.
Tijuana have only scored twice in their last five matches, home or away in all competitions. On the other hand, they have conceded a whopping nine goals in five games. The team has scored only six goals in their six games in the Liga MX Apertura so far, with Carlos Gonzalez bagging four of those.
They are ranked 13th in the Mexican top division in terms of goals scored, averaging just one goal per match. Coach Miguel Herrera’s worries don’t end there as his side has a dismal defensive record, failing to keep a clean sheet in their last nine games and conceding ten goals in the league.
Club Tijuana have played 24 competitive matches in this year and won just three of them. This is a worrisome record for Herrera’s side. In the current Apertura campaign, they have recorded one victory in six games so far.
Tijuana have lost half of their games this season with three losses out of six. Meanwhile, the remaining two games have ended in disappointing draws for the hosts. As a result, the club is placed 16th on the Apertura table, with just five points from six games.
Herrera’s side’s search for an elusive victory continues as they host Toluca. However, it seems unlikely that the visitors will allow the hosts to add three points on the board.
Deportivo Toluca has lost only one game since the start of the Apertura campaign. They have recorded three wins, three draws, and just one loss in their seven games played so far in the Liga MX Apertura season. As a result, the ten-time Liga MX champions are placed fifth in the table with 12 points.
The Red Devils are in good form and will hope to continue the momentum of their back-to-back wins before the international break as they travel to Tijuana. They have lost just once in their last five outings, against Minnesota United on penalties in the round of 16 of the 2023 Leagues Cup. Toluca had won all three of their games in the Leagues Cup before they were knocked out in the last 16.
Ignacio Ambriz’s men suffered a minor setback as they were knocked out of the Leagues Cup. Toluca gave Minnesota United a tough fight as they forced a penalty shootout by coming back from two goals down in regulation time to end the match 2-2. Unfortunately, they fell short in the shootout and were bested 4-2 by the American side.
As Toluca returned to the Apertura after their Leagues Cup last 16 run, they stumbled a little, drawing their first two games against Pumas UNAM and Atlas FC, both away. However, once they returned to their home ground, Toluca got back to winning ways, beating CF Monterrey 1-0 and then proceeding to thrash Pachuca 5-0 four days later.
Deportivo Toluca are placed fifth in terms of goals scored in the Mexican league this season, averaging 1.6 goals per game. Juan Dominguez is their top goalscorer with four goals in seven games. However, he is not the only one. Goalkeeper Tiago Volpi has converted three penalties, with Pedro Raul behind him with two goals.
Toluca also boast of a great midfield with Jesus Angulo providing three assists and Jean Meneses and Marcel Ruiz adding a couple each. The club has scored 11 goals in seven games so far. Defensively, Ambriz’s side has done well, keeping the goals conceded to less than one per match, as they allowed opponents to net only five times so far.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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