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Match preview: Santos Laguna vs. Cruz Azul

In order to keep their Liguilla hopes going, Cruz Azul will need to do what few have been able to do: beat Santos in Torreón.

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Eugene Rupinski / FMF State of Mind

Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Cruz Azul Asociación S.A. de C.V.

Date: Sunday, November 10th

Time: 7:45 p.m. Eastern, 6:45 p.m. Central, 4:45 p.m. Pacific, 12:45 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio TSM Corona (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: Roberto García Orozco, AR1: Andres Hernández Delgado, AR2: Eduardo Acosta Orea, 4TH: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo

Television: United States - Fox Sports 2, FOX Deportes; Mexico - Fox Sports 2 Cono Norte

Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling TV (Free trial + monthly subscription), FOX Sports GO

All-time record: Cruz Azul holds the all-time record, winning 31 to Santos’ 22 with 16 draws across all competitions. The only times the clubs have met outside of Liga MX play was a 5-1 aggregate win by Cruz Azul in the 2010-11 Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals and a 3-1 victory from Cruz Azul in the 2017 Copa MX Clausura quarterfinal.

Santos Laguna v Tijuana - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX
Julio Furch hasn’t scored in three games but has been able to contribute to Santos’ success nonetheless.
Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images

Santos Laguna (10W 3D 3L) can wrap up the superlíder with a win, while Cruz Azul (4W 8D 4L) has to win in order to remain alive in the Liguilla discussion. They’ll meet Sunday evening at Estadio TSM Corona, where Santos has lost exactly once in the calendar year 2019.

Santos has done everything right lately, going unbeaten in their last four. They’ve won games by going on the offensive, scoring three or more goals six times. They’ve won games by being defensive, allowing one goal or less in ten. They’ve utilized their wingers to create and score goals one week and then allowed their central midfielders to dictate the game the next.

They’re also continuing to win with leading goalscorer Julio Furch scoreless in his last three games. Furch is second in the league with nine goals, and has still been able to contribute during the scoreless run, creating spaces for his teammates and distributing the ball well. It’s worth noting that manager Guillermo Almada will miss the match, having picked up a red card in last week’s match against Club América (7W 7D 3L).

Cruz Azul v America - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX
Jonathan Rodríguez was a critical part of Santos’ 2018 Clausura championship season.
Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

Cruz Azul desperately needs to win this match, as going into the week they were four points out of a Liguilla spot behind Morelia (7W 3D 6L) and Tijuana (7W 3D 6L). They’ve also gotten points against both Tigres (7W 7D 2L) and León (7W 6D 3L) in their past two matches and should not be underestimated.

Their road form however has left a lot to be desired. They’ve won only once, but have been able to get a point in five of their eight games on the road thanks to four draws. They however haven’t played in a place as notoriously tough to get a win at for an opposing team as TSM.

There are a few ties to Santos, with former manager Robert Dante Siboldi at the helm and Adrián Aldrete and Jonathan “Cabecita” Rodríguez regular starters for La Maquina. All three helped win championships, with Sibolidi and Rodríguez winning the 2018 Clausura championship and Aldrete a part of the 2015 Clausura team.