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Match preview: León vs. Santos Laguna

Santos hasn’t lost in their last five, but they’re heading to Camp Nou to face León in their first game back at the stadium.

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Leon Evicted From Nou Camp Stadium Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images

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

Date: Monday, November 2nd

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

Venue: Estadio Nou Camp (León, Gto.)

Referees: REF: Oscar Mejia Garcia, AR1: Enríque Isaac Bustos Díaz, AR2: Sandra Elizabeth Ramirez Aleman 4TH: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo, VAR: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez, AVAR: Angel Monroy Bello

Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - Fox Sports 2, Claro Sports; Argentina - Claro Sports; Belize - FOX Sports 2; Bolivia - Claro Sports; Chile - Claro Sports; Colombia - Claro Sports; Costa Rica - Claro Sports, FOX Sports 2; Cuba - Claro Sports; Dominican Republic - Claro Sports, FOX Sports 2; Ecuador - Claro Sports; El Salvador - Claro Sports, FOX Sports 2; Guatemala - Claro Sports, FOX Sports 2; Honduras - Claro Sports, FOX Sports 2; Nicaragua - Claro Sports, FOX Sports 2; Panama - Claro Sports, FOX Sports 2; Paraguay - Claro Sports; Peru - Claro Sports; Puerto Rico - Claro Sports; Uruguay - Claro Sports; Venezuela - Claro Sports, FOX Sports 2

Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), TUDN En Vivo

All-time record: León holds the all time, with 18 wins to Santos’ 16 and the clubs sharing 10 draws across all competitions. All of these results have come in Liga MX play except for one draw and one León win, which happened during the 1987-88 season of the Segunda División.

The last time the clubs met, Santos got a 3-2 win at TSM back on January 19 thanks to goals from Brian Lozano, Diego Valdés, and Octavio Rivero while León got goals from Jean Menenses and Ángel Mena. The last time the clubs played at the Nou Camp in ended in a 2-2 draw back on August 28, 2019. José Juan Macías and Ángel Mena scored for León while Julio Furch converted a penalty and Eryc “La Culebra” Castillo got the equalizer.

Santos Laguna v Atletico San Luis - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX
Gael Sandoval has three goals in his last five games and has been an integral part of Santos attack.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Santos Laguna (6W 4D 5L) will take their five game unbeaten run on the road for one of their biggest tests of the season. They’ll face León (11W 3D 1L) at the Camp Nou, which will mark La Fiera’s return to the building after it was seized by Roberto Zermeño.

Santos has strung together a fantastic run over the last five, winning four and getting a draw in the other. The offense has started to click, scoring nine while conceding three over that stretch. They’ve gotten goals from that stretch from four different players (five if you include the autogol from Xolos’ Vladimir Loroña). Gael Sandoval in particular has come to life. All three of his goals have come in that stretch, and it’s a much needed contribution.

Defensively, Carlos Acevedo and the defense have been playing especially well, not allowing more than one goal a game since their September 12 loss to Tigres UANL (7W 6D 2L) at El Volcán.

Puebla v Leon - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX
Ángel Mena leads León in scoring with seven goals, and the right wing will present a matchup problem for Santos.
Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

But these positive results have come from teams that have been struggling, with two of them having already been eliminated from Liguilla competition as of this writing. León has clinched the superlíder position thanks to excellence on both sides of the ball. Ángel Mena has seven goals to lead the club, while Jean Menenses and Emanuel Gigliotti have each chipped in five to give the team a total of 23 on the season. León will be without Pedro Aquino however, who picked up a red card in their last match against Puebla ().

On the other side of the ball they’ve given up just 11 on the season, which is best in the league. Rodolfo Cota and the defense have kept five clean sheets together in his twelve starts, while Alfonso Blanco got shutouts in two of his three starts.

While Santos has had a good run of form lately and has performed well against León in their last few meetings, these things should not be interpreted to guarantee a Santos result. This will be the best team that they’ve faced this far who will be hyped to be back in their own building. While nothing is impossible, this is as difficult as it gets and will be a true test of where Santos will fit in the overall Liguilla picture.