Club León and Xolos de Tijuana will renew their rivalry when both clubs clash as part of the Quarterfinals of the 2019 Liga MX Clausura.
Club León were without question the best team through the regular season. In addition to making history by recording the most amount of consecutive wins in a single season, La Fiera was also the the league's best offense and best defense. Now, They are tasked with facing a Xolos de Tijuana team that snuck into the playoffs in the last game of the regular season. Oscar Pareja's men have been a hit or a miss this season, but have gone through long stretches where they defeated tough teams and looked like one of the best teams in Liga MX.
Often in Liga MX, finishing at the top of the league table is more of a curse than a blessing. For those who don't know, there is actually a name for it, the curse of the "superlíder".
In the case of Club León, there is no denying that the pressure is on La Fiera to replicate what they did in the regular season in the Liguilla. In fact, León know quite well that their record-breaking regular season will mean nothing if they don't go on and win the title at the end of the Liguilla.
Obviously, the numbers aren't at all favorable for León. In the modern history of Liga MX, there have been 45 Liguillas and the top seeded team has only been able to lift the title on seven occasions. That is roughly 15%, which tells you just how difficult it is be both the best team in the regular season and the best team in the Liguilla.
Both Teams Have a History
Club León and Xolos de Tijuana have a running history of facing each other that dates back to their time in Ascenso MX, where León doesn't have particularly fond memories of Tijuana. Traditionally, Xolos has been a stone in León's shoes, which is more reason to worry if you are a fan of the Esmeraldas. In total, Tijuana arrive to this match on a streak of six straight games without a defeat versus León in Liga MX. Moreover, La Fiera has only been able to win once at the Estadio Sportsbook, where the First Leg of this series will be played. That's just one win in nine previous visits to Tijuana's home ground.
A Game For the OVER Bettors
As far as what we could expect in this match in terms of goals, the fact that León were most successful on offense during the regular season should tell you everything you need to know about what kind of game we could see. León games have been an OVER bettor's delight. Each of León's last six games have finished in the OVER.
Similarly, Oscar Pereja's men have not shied away from uptempo games, as five of their last six matches in all competitions have finished in the OVER. Xolos de Tijuana definitely have the firepower, especially at home where they have scored in every single home match this season apart from their very first one against Tigres UANL.
My Take on The Game
It's easy to see why many think this series has a very high possibility of an upset. While inconsistency has been a theme for Xolos de Tijuana this season, I think they can surprise León on their way to a First Leg victory. That said, I do think León will get on the scoresheet and get at least an away goal from this match.