The Xolos Tijuana vs Palmeiras Copa Libertadores second leg match will take place on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 (6:00 PM Pacific) at the Estadio Pacaembu in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The first leg of this Round of 16 series ended with a 0-0 draw at the Estadio Caliente in Tijuana. This means that Palmeiras is forced to win in order to move on to the quarterfinal stage; Tijuana needs a scoring draw (a 0-0 draw would force overtime).
Both of these teams have finished their regular seasons with a heavy dose of disappointment. Palmeiras was eliminated from the Paulista tournament by Santos in the quarterfinal stage. Xolos finished the Liga MX season without even qualifying to the playoffs, no chance to defend the championship earned the previous semester. Due to their failures in the regular season, this match has become the most important game of the season for both Xolos and Palmeiras.
Palmeiras certainly owes it to their fans: after having been relegated the previous season, and an early exit in the Paulista tournament, the only chance the Palmeiras fans have for celebration is the Copa Libertadores. The Brazilian fans are certainly hoping for a victory, as the Estadio Pacaembu has sold out its 36,000 seats.
Although Xolos is not as hard-pressed to achieve a result in order to appease its fans, it still owes itself a good match against Palmeiras. Xolos was a disaster in the Liga MX, losing games left and right, even failing to qualify to the playoffs. The only time Xolos played well this season was in the Copa Libertadores, where the team has played similar to how it did last season, when it won the Liga MX title. The players know they have talent, and will want to demonstrate that against Palmeiras.
Which set of supporters will be left with nothing but disappointment at the conclusion of the Xolos vs Palmeiras match? It’s tough to tell, as both teams appear to be evenly matched. It is important to note that Palmeiras will be missing star player, Jorge Valdivia, due to injury- this could turn out to be an important missing piece for Palmeiras. On the other side of the pitch, Xolos is only missing the speedy right-back Nuñez, all other key players are available.
Xolos Tijuana vs Palmeiras Prediction
The stadium will be packed, the fans will be loud, the stakes will be high, and the teams will give it all they’ve got. Both teams rely on the outcome of this match to see if this season is a success or a failure; don’t expect either one to go down without a fight. Palmeiras has the advantage of playing at home, while Xolos has the advantage of being able to work the score in their favor. An away goal by Xolos would put Palmeiras in deep trouble.
The very last match of the Liga MX showed a glimpse of the style of play we can expect from Xolos against Palmeiras. In their 4-0 victory over Chivas, Tijuana played a counterattacking style that invited Chivas to attack, and took advantage of the open spaces with long passes to Fidel Martinez and Duvier Riascos. Xolos will play the same style, hoping to counterattack a Palmeiras squad that is forced to attack.
The Xolos Tijuana vs Palmeiras match will end in a 2-1 victory for Xolos, their speed and counterattacking abilities will prove too much for the second division Brazilian squad.
Xolos Tijuana vs Palmeiras Television
The Xolos vs Palmeiras match will be televised on Fox Deportes this Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 6:00 PM Pacific.