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Match preview: Club Santos vs. Club Tijuana

Liga MX’s best scorer comes up against Liga MX’s best defense.

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Tijuana v Santos Laguna - Torneo Apertura 2017 Liga MX Photo by Fausto Vargas/Jam Media/LatinContent/Getty Images

Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente

Date: Saturday, February 3rd

Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: TSM Estadio Corona (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: Jorge Isaac Rojas Castillo, AR1: Pablo Israel Hernández Luna, AR2: Jose Ibrahim Martinez Chavarria, 4TH: Leon Vicente Barajas Anzures

Television: United States - None; Mexico - Sky HD, Sky Planeta Fútbol

Streaming: Fanatiz (outside of the United States and Mexico only), (United States)

All-time record: Tijuana have won six, drawn five, and lost two against Santos Laguna. Xolos hold a 23-15 lead all-time in goals, having three clean sheets and three multigoal games against Los Guerreros, however Santos has had seven multigoal games against the Border Dogs.

Tijuana v Santos Laguna - Torneo Apertura 2017 Liga MX
Tijuana won the last meeting between the clubs 2-0.
Photo by Eduardo Teran/Jam Media/LatinContent/Getty Images

While Santos Laguna (2W 1D 1L) usually plays their home games at 7:00 PM Eastern on Sunday, this weekend’s match against Tijuana (2W 2D 0L) was moved to avoid conflicting with the Super Bowl. While the game will not be shown on television in the United States, Sky will show it in Mexico and Central America and the game will be streamed in the United States by Univision.

Xolos will put their unbeaten record on the line as they head east to face Los Guerreros in Torreón. Tijuana is the only team in Liga MX yet to concede a goal, and their resurgent defense has seen them climb atop the table. Goalkeeper Gibran Lajud has been solid in net, earning his first call-up to the Mexican National Team.

Lajud will face off against two of his Mexico teammates, central defender Nestor Araujo and fellow goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco. Of the three, only Araujo saw any time against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday. Lajud and Xolos defense will need to worry about more than Araujo though, as Cape Verdean striker Djaniny Tavares has started the season off strong with six goals in four games. Djaniny has scored in every Liga MX game this year, including a hat trick to start the season against Lobos BUAP.

Santos Laguna v Monarcas - Torneo Clausura 2018 Liga MX
Djaniny leads all Liga MX scorers with six goals in four games.
Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images

Xolos have found their offensive footing of late though, with Juan Lucero and Gustavo “Pantera” Bou scoring in Tijuana’s 2-0 win over Puebla last week. The Perros also had several good chances, with Bou rattling a shot off of the woodwork at one point. But Santos is a much stiffer challenge than Puebla, so it will be interesting to see if the Xolos offense has as much success against a team that isn’t as vulnerable.

Xolos also announced a pair of signings on Thursday. Ecuadoran right winger Julio Angulo joins from Argentina’s Club Atlético Huracán, while United States National Team forward Rubio Rubin was signed from Stabæk IF in Norway. It’s doubtful that either player is in the 18 for Tijuana in this match.