Xolos will face off against Pumas at Estadio Caliente on Friday, August 3, 2012 at 8:30 PM EST. Xolos de Tijuana is coming off a miserable game where they were crushed by an inspired Leon squad 4-0. On the flip side of the coin, Pumas had a great match, where Martin Bravo scored a brace to defeat the sad (very sad) Queretaro squad. However, don’t let the previous week’s scores fool you, this Xolos vs Pumas match will be very contested.
Xolos couldn’t handle the intensity that the Leon squad and its frenzied fans brought to the Nou Camp, and were swept aside with three magnificent goals (and a penalty). To add insult to injury, Fernando Arce was red-carded in the second-half for receiving two yellow cards. Arce will serve his one-game suspension in the match against Pumas, meaning that the Xolos midfield will be lacking its best midfielder (now that Arevalo no longer plays in Mexico). I expect El Turco will start both Fidel Martinez and Joe Corona, putting Joe Corona in the midfield and placing Martinez as an advanced left winger, in a 4-3-3 formation.
Pumas soundly defeated Queretaro at home, showing flashes of what their powerful offensive can do. Surprisingly enough, it is Maritn Bravo and not one of their flashy reinforcements who has been scoring the goals. Del Olmo’s team looked good against Queretaro, and he did not commit the same mistake that he made against Atlas, that is, pulling back when his team is clearly superior. However, I suspect that Del Olmo will come with a defensive scheme, and will try to play a counter-attacking game against Xolos.
Del Olmo vs El Turco: This will be Del Olmo’s first time back to El Estadio Caliente, since the Xolos ownership released him halfway through the Apertura 2011. It will be interesting to see how the Tijuana fans react to his appearance, after all, he is the man who finally brought a major league team to Tijuana…
Prediction: I believe that the match will be contested in the midfield, with both teams basing their attacks off of solid defensive schemes. However, I believe El Turco will rally his troops after last week’s disgraceful match, and come out with the win at home. The score will be Xolos 2 – Pumas 1.
Television: The match will be “televised” at 8:30 PM EST by Univision Deportes Network. Time to start looking for those streams…
Update: Half time score Xolos 1 – Pumas 0.