Preview: Necaxa vs. Club Tijuana – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Liga MX clash between Necaxa and Club Tijuana, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In their opening home fixture of the new Liga MX Apertura campaign, Necaxa will welcome Club Tijuana to Estadio Victoria in Aguascalientes on Friday.

On matchday one, Los Rayos could only manage a 0-0 draw on the road versus Toluca, while Los Xolos conceded late to Pumas in a 3-2 defeat.

Match preview

New Tijuana manager Miguel Herrera© Reuters

Coming off a Clausura campaign where they finished second from the bottom, new manager Rafael Dudamel knew there was much to do regarding improving a squad that scored the fewest goals in the second half of the 2023 domestic season (16).

The man who guided Venezuela to the U-20 World Cup final in 2017 and a third-place finish at the South American Youth Football Championship that same year saw a rather unconvincing performance from his side last weekend as Necaxa only had 30% of the possession, extending their domestic winless run to six games.

From the beginning of April until their debut match in the Apertura this year, Los Electricistas have failed to find the back of the net in four of its previous six league fixtures, while they have not won a domestic encounter since blanking Mazatlan 1-0 in March.

Lately, it seems as though facing Tijuana brings out their very best, with Necaxa losing just one of its last eight home matches against them, scoring multiple times in three of their previous four domestic outings versus La Jauria at Estadio Victoria in the Apertura.

At the end of the 2022 Apertura season, this team made the playoffs, otherwise known as the Reclassification, the second time they had accomplished that in three seasons, and the expectation will be to, at the very least, duplicate that performance this time around thanks to some lowkey signings.

The end of Tijuana’s opening match in the Apertura had a similar feel to its previous one as they failed to hang onto a second-half advantage versus Pumas last Friday, just like they had done in their first game against them in the opening phase of last season.

Last week, however, they came away empty-handed, whereas in 2022, they at least managed to salvage a point with a 1-1 draw, and the defeat last week extended its winless run in the Apertura to nine games.

As we have become used to seeing from them over the years, Tijuana seem to be rolling the dice when it comes to finding success, making numerous roster changes before the start of the domestic campaign, while a familiar face will be on the sidelines as former manager Miguel Herrera is back, having been re-hired near the tail end of last season.

The Gold Cup-winning manager with Mexico in 2015 has only captured two of his 12 domestic fixtures so far in his second stint as the Tijuana boss, winning just one of his last eight matches in the previous Clausura campaign.

They have not won an Apertura contest away from home since coming back to defeat Cruz Azul 2-1 in August 2022, going winless in their last four road contest of that season, while Los Xolos have not won at Necaxa since erasing a 1-0 deficit with two goals in the final eight minutes plus stoppage time of their February 2019 Clausura clash.

Necaxa Liga MX form:

Club Tijuana Liga MX form:

Team News

Necaxa were without Ricardo Monreal for their opening match of this competition, Cristian Gonzalez made his first appearance since moving on a free transfer from Tepatitlan, starting in a back five, while Misael Dominguez and Jair Cortes came off the substitutes bench to earn cap number one at their new club, replacing Vicente Poggi and Heriberto Jurado in the second half.

Raul Gudino picked up his first clean sheet of the campaign in their last encounter, while Facundo Batista notched seven goals in the previous Apertura campaign.

A 70th-minute strike from Agustin Oliveros enabled them to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Tijuana the last time they met them at home in the 2023 Clausura campaign when former goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez was in between the sticks making five stops.

Jose Antonio Rodriguez is with the Mexican national team at the Gold Cup, which means we can expect Jose de Jesus Corona to start this match in goal, Lucas Cavallini meanwhile is with the Canadian team at that aforementioned tournament, while Carlos Valenzuela could miss another game due to a knee injury.

Corona, Diego Barbosa, Kevin Balanta, Rafael Fernandez, Fernando Madrigal, Christian Rivera and Carlos Gonzalez were all in the starting 11 for La Jauria on matchday one, while Jesus Vega made his first appearance with Tijuana as a substitute.

Madrigal and Gonzalez scored their first of the campaign last weekend in a losing effort, while an own-goal from Juan Pablo Segovia gave them a 1-0 lead in its previous visit to Necaxa before Jose Antonio Rodriguez conceded the equaliser 20 minutes from the end.

Necaxa possible starting lineup:
Gudino; Cr. Gonzalez, Montes, Formiliano, Oliveros; Dominguez, Cortes, Esquivel, Jurado; Batista, Silvera

Club Tijuana possible starting lineup:
Corona; Barbosa, Balanta, Vega, Fernandez; Madrigal, Rivera; Canelo, L. Rodriguez, Castaneda; Ca. Gonzalez

SM words green background

We say: Necaxa 1-0 Club Tijuana

There is plenty of room for improvement with both sides, but Tijuana do not look quite as cohesive which makes sense given the amount of changes the club have made, and we believe that will give Necaxa the edge in this game.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

ID:517679:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect11365:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole‘s daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!