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Gradual progress continues for Monterrey.
Little by little, they’ve made a name for themselves as a no-nonsense side under manager Javier Aguirre.
They aren’t playing high-pressing soccer that has led to dominant victories, but they are utilizing an organized style that has left them as one of only three undefeated Liga MX teams.
It’s tempting to look towards a big away win for Monterrey — especially against Club Tijuana.
Tijuana are struggling in recent weeks, but that said, manager Robert Siboldi might be tempted to sit back at home and hope for a gutsy draw.
On the ropes and potentially with his job on the line, Siboldi should make this a difficult challenge through a defensive approach.
Keeping in mind that Monterrey will be missing a key player as well, this could be a tight match.
Although Monterrey should push for an away win here, they might come just short.
|Club Tijuana vs Monterrey Information|
|Teams||Club Tijuana vs Monterrey|
|Location||Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, Mexico)|
|Time||Friday, August 27th at 7:00 pm PT/10:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
There’s no doubt that Tijuana are falling apart.
Heading into Week 7 of the 2021 Apertura, they’re dead last with only two points in their first six matches of the season.
All that said, could they at least claim a draw this Friday?
Desperate for points, Siboldi has claimed two draws in his last three games, and were it not for two goals after the 90th minute last week against America, he would currently have three ties.
It’s not exactly thrilling stuff from Tijuana, but it is obvious that they’re attempting to park the bus.
Expect the same from them on Friday at home, and even if they allow a goal, they might be able to respond against a weakened Monterrey defense.
What has so far defined Aguirre’s Monterrey structure is a more cautious style that doesn’t necessarily lead to a long list of goals.
Halting scoring chances, as opposed to creating them, is the focus for Aguirre.
And although they should be the favorites against a faltering Tijuana, a crucial part of their recent setup received a red card during last week’s 0-0 draw with Chivas de Guadalajara.
Cesar Montes, an adept defender that is capable of plying his trade in Europe, earned a red during the 56th minute of Monterrey’s latest draw.
A physical and aggressive presence will now be missing.
A couple other names within the deep roster should step in and do a decent job, but there’s no doubt that Monterrey’s backline won’t be at its very best.
There’s something to be said about Tijuana’s advantage at home.
While they tend to struggle away, they do usually make things challenging for Liga MX sides who need to make the trek all the way near the border.
Along with their artificial turf, Tijuana constantly present difficulties for visiting teams.
Monterrey will be no different.
It’s a small sample size, but Monterrey haven’t won away from home this season.
And without their top defender, they might have issues with Tijuana in the chase of a hard-fought draw.
Let’s not overlook the fact that Tijuana have clearly been aiming for draws recently.
With Siboldi doing his best to hold onto his tenuous position, Tijuana have gradually become a team involved in losses to narrow draws.
As mentioned early, were it not for some mistakes in the literal last five minutes of their last game, Tijuana would have five draws in a row at this point.
Siboldi is chasing draws, not wins, and more than likely at home, Tijuana will be able to do so on Friday evening.
Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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