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Match preview: América vs. Santos Laguna

Two of the best managed teams in the tournament meet up in CU as América hosts Santos.

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America v Santos Laguna - Torneo Apertura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

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

Date: Thursday, August 13th

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

Venue: Estadio Olímpico Universitario (Coyoacán, D.F.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Hernandez Gomez, AR1: Jose Ibrahim Martinez Chavarria, AR2: Enedina Caudillo Gómez, 4TH: Edgar Allan Morales Olvera, VAR: Edgar Allan Morales Olvera, AVAR: Igor Itzsvan Flores Florian

Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - TUDN; Brazil - DAZN

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

All-time record: Club América holds a decisive edge over all competitions, winning 42 to Santos’ 21 while the clubs have drawn 19 times since their first meeting back in 1988. Outside of Liga MX play, these teams have met in several competitions. The teams met in a pre-Copa Libertadores match in 1998 that Santos won 1-0. They met in the Interliga in 2010 that América won 3-1. Santos won the 2014 Campeón de Campeones 1-0 while América knocked Santos out of the CCL Semifinal in 2016, and each team has one win in Copa MX play from the 2017 Clausura, The last time the teams met, Santos won 2-1 at the Azteca thanks to goals from Brian Lozano and Diego Valdés while América got a goal from Andres Ibargüen.

Cruz Azul v Santos Laguna - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX
Santos manager Guillermo Almada will be looking for more consistency from his Santos Laguna side.
Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

The knock on Santos Laguna (1W 1D 1L) has been that their home form is impeccable while their inability to perform on the road limits them. They may have dispelled that to a degree with a 2-2 tie against Rayados (1W 1D 1L) where they dominated the second half and seemed unlucky to not get all three points. They’ll have an even sterner test when they face off against América, however it won’t be at the Azteca. Due to renovations at the historic stadium, the match will take place across town at Estadio Olímpico Universitario, home of UNAM Pumas (2W 1D 0L).

Santos was able to play their style to full effect against Monterrey, pressuring them into sloppy passes and clumsy fouls. When they’re able to execute like they did in stretches on Sunday, almost no team stands a chance. The issue however has been exhibiting the ability to do that consistently for 90 minutes. Santos got a good 60-70 minutes of that against Monterrey. Can they do that against an opponent like América?

America v Tijuana - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX
América manager Miguel Herrera expects more from his team.
Photo by Francisco Vega/Getty Images

América has struggled a bit this season. Widely viewed as a top contender for superlíder, they’ve sputtered out of the starting gate but still sit atop the standings. They beat Pachuca (1W 1D 1L) 2-1 to start the season, but didn’t look convincing at all in doing so. They then beat Tijuana (1W 1D 1L) 4-0, thanks in part to a Henry Martín brace late in the game after most hope of a comeback had run out for the visitors. In their last game, they drew a poor Necaxa side and struggled despite holding a lead for a good portion of the match. Which América will show up? They’ll need to play like they did against Tijuana to stand a chance against Santos. If they play like they did against Necaxa, it will be a match to forget for Americanistas.

This should be a good match between two of the best managers in the Mexican game. Both Miguel Herrera and Guillermo Almada are students of the game, and both have fiery tempers that often get them on the wrong side of the officiating. Perhaps its fitting that in their last meeting, both men were sent off at the same time for arguing with one another and then both turned their ire on the officials after being sent off.