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Match preview: Santos Laguna vs. Monterrey

Santos is coming off of a loss and Monterrey has won three straight. But everything might not be as it seems.

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Santos Laguna v Puebla - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

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

Date: Friday, August 23rd

Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Hernandez Gomez, AR1: Enríque Isaac Bustos Díaz, AR2: Rene Ramirez Ayala, 4TH: Mario Humberto Vargas Mata

Television: United States - Fox Sports 1, 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: Monterrey holds the all time edge, winning 30 to Santos’ 24 while the teams have drawn 24 times. In Liga MX play, Monterrey holds the 26 to 21 advantage with 23 draws. The clubs have also met in the Copa MX, with Santos winning twice to Monterrey’s once as well as in Concacaf Champions League twice with Monterrey winning both the 2011-12 Final 3-2 on aggregate and the 2012-13 Final on 4-2 aggregate. The last time the clubs met, Rayados meted out a 4-0 beating at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer back on April 14. Rayados also won the last meeting at Estadio TSM Corona, a 2-0 win in the 2018 Apertura Liguila quarterfinals, which they won 3-0 on aggregate. Santos did win the regular season match at Estadio TSM Corona that season by 1-0.

Atlas v Santos Laguna - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX
Brian Lozano has been Santos’ breakout player of the season, and is tied for the league lead in goals with four on the season so far.
Photo by Oscar Meza/Jam Media/Getty Images

Santos Laguna (4W 0D 1L) will try and pick up the pieces after their first loss of the season as they host Monterrey (3W 0D 2L) on the first Friday night game at Estadio Corona TSM since the aforementioned 1-0 win in the 2018 Apertura regular season on October 26th, 2018. Santos lost a frustrating game to Necaxa (2W 1D 2L), having two goals disallowed and two shots from Brian Lozano hit off of the crossbar.

The loss to Necaxa aside, Santos has been lethal. They’ve scored 12 goals this season, which still leads the league despite the team failing to score their last time out. And despite giving up three goals last week, they’ve only given up five total on the season. They’ll also get Matheus Dória back from red card suspension, although they will be without Dória’s center back partner Hugo Rodríguez. Rodríguez was ruled out of last week’s game with an injury to his right thigh, and while he will most likely be available next week he’s all but certain to miss Friday’s match.

FOX Sports commentator Adrián García-Márquez expressed his admiration for Santos’ duo of Lozano and Julio Furch. “Together those two guys with their seven goals are definitely one the better duos of the league. I think I really like what we’ve seen from the young guys too. Joking around, (I’ve been) calling Adrián Lozano ‘the 191 Freeway’ (191 is his jersey number) because the kid’s like a carpool to the goal. He just needs to be consistently be firing and just making his presence known, for being a young guy. And then you see guys like (Emilio) Orrantía who’s also contributed and you add that to (Brian) Lozano and Furch, the electricity, and you’ve got something good going with Eryc Castillo and I think they’re going to be just fine.”

Monterrey v Toluca - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX
Rogelio Funes Mori leads Monterrey with three goals on the season.
Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Monterrey had a rough start to the season, losing 4-2 to Club América (4W 1D 0L) and 1-0 to Atlético San Luis (1W 1D 2L) before reeling off three straight wins. Monterrey’s lineup top-to-bottom is one of the best in the league on paper, however they haven’t been able to put it all together on a consistent basis. Even in what was aguably their best win, they were a bit lucky to pull out the 2-0 win against Toluca (0W 1D 4L).

With a lineup that includes Miguel Layún, Nicolás Sánchez, Rodolfo Pizarro, Maximiliano Meza, Rogelio Funes Mori, and Dorlan Pabón, Monterrey should be able to be competitive with any team. But a trip to La Laguna always seems to bring out the worst in opposing teams. If Monterrey has a tough time in San Luis Potosí against a team that was in the Ascenso MX a few months ago, they’re going to be in for a shock in the fortress at La Comarca despite Santos’ performance last time out.

“I think they’re going to get over this loss (to Necaxa),” García-Márquez continued. “It was bound to happen. You can’t be red-hot completely. It’s very very hard, and I think that speaks to the parity of Liga MX as well you can get beat by anybody on any match week. I think that they tasted it, they already kinda gotten past it, and are looking forward to just moving exactly where they were headed - to the top. I think their loss was a setback but I think they’ll rebound on Friday and I think they have a nice, nice matchup against Monterrey. Talk about must see tv!”