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Club Tijuana are 16th after drawing their first game and losing the second of the 2023 Clausura season
Tigres UANL have beaten Santos Laguna and 2022 Apertura winners Pachuca in their opening two games of the 2023 Clausura season
Club Tijuana have not beaten Tigres UANL in Liga MX since the Liga MX 2016 Clausura season
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Recent form, history books, and odds are backing the visitors in this encounter. Club Tijuana extended their winless run in Liga MX to ten games when they lost against Juarez on their last outing. Meanwhile, Tigres UANL have breezed past two of the strongest sides in Liga MX and sit at the top of the table.
Apart from recent form, the head-to-head record between the two sides shows how dominant Tigres UANL have been in this fixture. In 24 Liga MX encounters, Club Tijuana have only beaten Tigres UANL thrice. Los Tigres have won 14 games and seven games have ended in a stalemate.
When the two sides met each other in the 2022 Apertura league phase, Tigres UANL scraped past Club Tijuana with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a 78th-minute goal from Raymundo Fulgencio. In the last five encounters between these two sides, four matches have been won by Tigres UANL and one has ended in a goalless draw.
The goalless draw came in the 2020 Apertura season. After that, Tigres UANL have won four games, scoring 8 goals in the process and allowing Club Tijuana to score just three. Club Tijuana’s last goal against Tigres UANL came in the 2021 Apertura season when Brayan Angulo scored what turned out to be a consolation goal in a 2-1 defeat.
In the 2022 Apertura season, Club Tijuana finished 15th in the league, three spots behind the final playoff spot that was claimed by Necaxa. However, Club Tijuana were only two shy of that spot and will be eying it this time in the 2023 Clausura.
Club Tijuana arrived in Liga MX with a bang. Their first season in the top division was in the 2011-12 season, and they lifted their first and only title the next season in the form of the 2012 Apertura trophy.
However, in recent years, Club Tijuana have not been a pundit’s pick for the Liga MX title. The club will focus on nabbing a playoff spot and seeing how far they can reach in the knockout rounds.
After securing just four wins in 17 games during the 2022 Apertura season, Club Tijuana will look for more positive results this season. However, the club has already spurned two opportunities and now find themselves against a strong opponent in the next match.
Lucas Rodriguez finished as Club Tijuana’s leading goalscorer during the 2022 Apertura season. The midfielder scored just four goals to achieve this feat. Behind him, there were four of his teammates, each with two goals to their respective names.
However, three out of four of those players are no longer with Club Tijuana. Edgar Lopez has moved to Toluca and Franco Di Santo has joined Universidad Catolica after spending only six months with the club, scoring twice in 15 appearances.
Renato Ibarra’s loan spell has also ended, and the player returned to Club America. The 31-year-old winger made a total of 14 appearances that included five starts, two goals, and an assist.
These departures come at a time when the club is eager for goals. So far, in two games, Tijuana have only scored one goal and that came via a Lisandro Lopez penalty. The lack of quality in the attack may hurt Club Tijuana the most this season.
The defensive duo of Victor Guzman and Lisandro Lopez put in decent performances in Club Tijuana’s opening game of the season against Cruz Azul. In the second game, Nicolas Diaz replaced Guzman in defense but Club Tijuana ended up conceding three on that night, even though Diaz won the most duels in the match.
With options in defense available, the attack remains the biggest concern for Club Tijuana. Alexis Canelo and Braian Romero have started in attack in the last two games and in both games, the duo’s performance has been subpar. Coach Ricardo Valino will have to deploy a new system against Tigres UANL if he wants goals from his side.
There are no easy games in football, but this one might just be one of the few exceptions that Tigres UANL are looking for. The fixtures have pitted a side struggling in the final third against a side that has been prolific in the final third in the opening stages of the 2023 Clausura season.
In the 2022 Apertura season, Tigres UANL finished fifth in the league phase. They were eliminated on away goals by eventual champions Pachuca in the quarterfinals. In the 2023 Clausura season, Tigres UANL beat Pachuca 4-1 in their last game.
After scoring three past Santos Laguna and four past Pachuca, Tigres UANL will face a side that is hovering towards the bottom end of the table and will most probably extend their winning streak to three matches and remain at the top of the table.
Tigres UANL scored 28 goals in 20 games during the Apertura phase but have already scored seven in two games against strong opponents in the 2023 Clausura. The side have a glorious opportunity to boost their goal difference in this fixture.
After making over 100 appearances for Santos Laguna, Fernando Gorriaran has joined Tigres UANL. The midfielder has already made an impact in the two games that he has featured in. His debut came against his former club Santos Laguna, against whom he registered a vital assist.
In his second appearance, the Uruguayan scored one and assisted Luis Quiones’ goal to make it three goal contributions in two games for Tigres UANL. The midfielder is enjoying playing in the midfield behind Andre-Pierre Gignac.
The attacking duo of Gignac and Quiones have gotten off to a flier in the 2023 Clausura season. Gignac has nabbed a goal and an assist in both of the matches so far, while his strike partner has three goals in two games.
The addition of Gorriaran has come as a bonus for Tigres UANL. The strikers are firing balls into the net while the former Santos Laguna midfielder is providing the creativity from deep. Consistency could also lead Tigres UANL to their eighth Liga MX title.
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Teams: Club Tijuana vs Tigres UANL
Location: Estadio Caliente
Time: Friday, January 20 at 10.10 pm ET onwards
How to Watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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