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Match preview: Santos Laguna vs. Puebla

Santos Laguna are set to welcome a struggling Puebla to Estadio Corona TSM.

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Santos Laguna v FC Juarez - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club Puebla

Date: Sunday, August 11th

Time: 7:45 p.m. Eastern, 6:45 p.m. Central, 4:45 p.m. Pacific, 11:45 p.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: Diego Montaño Robles, AR1: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala, AR2: Cesar Cerritos García, 4TH: Guillermo Pacheco Larios

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

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

All-time record: Santos holds the all-time record across all competitions, winning 25 to Puebla’s 15 while the clubs have drawn 21 times. All but one meeting has been in Liga MX play. The lone exception was in the 2014 Copa MX Apertura Final that Santos won in penalties. The last time these clubs met the match ended in a 1-1 draw at Estadio Cuauhtémoc on January 18 of this year. The last time they met at Estadio Corona TSM, Santos won 2-0 back on August 5, 2018 thanks to goals from Julio Furch and Emilio Orrantía.

Atlas v Santos Laguna - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX
Brian Lozano has four goals in three games for Santos, who have a perfect record in their first three games.
Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images

Santos Laguna (3W 0D 0L) comes into their match with Puebla (0W 1D 1L) as the only team left in the league to have won all of their games. Santos has looked fairly comfortable doing it, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 8-1.

Gustavo Almada’s commitment to pressing and decentralizing the attack has allowed the team to be creative and get more players involved. Brian Lozano has benefit from this perhaps more than anyone else on the team. The Uruguyan winger has four goals in three games and perhaps more importantly helped lighten the burden of Julio Furch, who plays best when he is not the focal point of the opposing defense.

FBL-MEX-PUEBLA-GUADALAJARA
Lucas Cavallini (left) will miss the match against Santos due to a red card acquired in Puebla’s last game against Chivas.
Photo credit should read FERNANDO CORTES/AFP/Getty Images

Puebla will need to be at their best to go to Torreón and get a point, and it’ll be that much more difficult due to the absence of Lucas Cavallini. The Canadian forward picked up a red card in the 60th minute when he got tangled up with Eduardo “Chofis” López in last week’s match against Chivas.

While Cavallini’s absence will hurt, Puebla still has some quality players. Christian Tabó is a lot like fellow countryman Lozano; both men are legitimate goalscoring threats from wide. Midfielder Alejandro Chumacero has drawn comparisons to Bastian Schweinsteiger (the Bayern Munich version, not the Chicago Fire version of late), and goalkeeper Nicolás Vikonis is one of the better goalkeepers in the league when he’s on his game.

Still, going to Torreón and getting a win is a tough ask of any club and Puebla is no different. Santos has lost just three games at home since the start of 2018 and is starting to hit their rhythm this season.