After going on the road and earning wins in the CONCACAF Champions League, America and Tijuana return to Liga MX action Saturday.
Former Tijuana manager Miguel Herrera will see a number of familiar faces. The now-America boss has his team in first place, still undefeated in league play.
Tijuana's current coach Diego Cocca, who arrived this winter, has overseen three losses but the team enters on a high after thumping Pumas 4-1 last weekend.
Do Xolos have what it takes to clip the high-flying Aguilas' wings?
|Game||America vs. Tijuana|
|Date||Saturday, Feburary 24|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Stream (US only)||fuboTV (7-day free trial)|
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SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Position||Club America players|
|Goalkeepers||Marchesin, Pineda, Jimenez|
|Defenders||Vargas, Alvarez, Aguilera, Valdez, Aguilar, Cedillo|
|Midfielders||Rodriguez, Da Silva, Uribe, Dominguez, Corona, Arce, Orrantia, Ibarguen, Paredes, Ibarra, Lainez|
|Forwards||Romero, Menez, Marin, Diaz, Martin, Peralta, Quintero|
Carlos Vargas returned to the Club America bench and will return as the starter at left back. French striker Jeremy Menez started last week, and is set to keep Henry Martin on the bench despite his good showing in Costa Rica.
Mateus Uribe is being held out ahead of next week's Clasico Nacional against Chivas.
Potential starting XI: Marchesin; Aguilar, Valdez, Aguilera, Vargas; Ibarra, Rodriguez, Da Silva, Ibarguen; Peralta, Menez
|Defenders||Valenzuela, Aguilar, Perez, Aguirregaray, Donatti, Orozco, Munoz, Corona|
|Midfielders||Guido, Gonsalvez, Malcorra, Mendoza, Musto, Chavez, Kalinsky, Pisano|
|Forwards||Iturbe, Bou, Bolanos, Lucero, Goncalves, Rubin|
Forward Gustavo Bou looked to have suffered a serious injury in Tijuana's win over Pumas but the injury turned out to be only a sprain. He's still in doubt for Saturday's contest as is Ignacio Malcorra who left the CCL match in the 26th minute.
United States international Rubio Rubin made his Tijuana debut in the CCL match.
Potential starting XI: Lajud; Mendoza, Aguilar, Valenzuela, Perez; Musto; Angulo, Rivero, Chavez, Mateus; Lucero
Tijuana visits its former head coach this weekend, going to the Estadio Azteca to meet Miguel Herrera's America.
Herrera led Xolos to first-place regular season finishes before returning to Mexico City in the summer of 2017 to once again take the helm at America. His current charges sit in first place as Liga MX's last remaining undefeated team.
Tijuana will recognize the reasons America is doing so well. The capital club acquired forward Henry Martin, defender Emmanuel Aguilera and midfielder Joe Corona from Xolos in the winter with Pablo Aguilar heading the other way in a return to Tijuana.
In some ways the swap has benefited both teams. Aguilar has led the line for a Tijuana side that has allowed just five goals so far this season while Aguilera and Las Aguilas have conceded only six. Martin is having a breakout season, scoring five goals to start the season and earning a call-up to the Mexico national team.
He's been just one portion of a revitalized America attack that not only was able to score five goals during the week in a CONCACAF Champions League win over Saprissa but has scored 15 goals so far this season. That's tied atop Liga MX.
America did have a close call last weekend, though, heading to Veracruz and requiring a late goal from Bruno Valdez to escape the Atlantic coast with a point.
Tijuana, meanwhile, romped over Pumas but lost Gustavo Bou to injury. Bou is questionable for Saturday's game as is Ignacio Malcorra. The Argentine left the CCL win over Motagua in the first half. If both are absent, Xolos may need to get creative with their attack.
With only 11 goals allowed between the two teams so far this season, it may seem like a defensive match is on tap - and Tijuana boss Diego Cocca's tactics and formation may reflect that. Still, it seems like there will be some scoring - America's presence this year nearly guarantees it.