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Match preview: Santos Laguna vs. Querétaro

Both Santos and Querétaro need points desperately to get themselves into the Liguilla conversation.

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Santos Laguna v Atlas - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images

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

Date: Sunday, August 30th

Time: 8:06 p.m. Eastern, 7:06 p.m. Central, 5:06 p.m. Pacific, 12:06 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez, AR1: Enríque Isaac Bustos Díaz, AR2: Jose De Jesus Baños Caballero, 4TH: Abraham De Jesús Quirarte Contreras, VAR: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo, AVAR: Juan Joel Rangel Maya

Television: United States - FOX Deportes Network; Mexico - Fox Sports 2; Belize - Fox Sports 2; Costa Rica - Fox Sports 2; Dominican Republic - Fox Sports 2; El Salvador - Fox Sports 2; Guatemala - Fox Sports 2; Honduras - Fox Sports 2; Nicaragua - Fox Sports 2; Panama - Fox Sports 2; Venezuela - Fox Sports 2;

Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), FOX Sports GO, FOXSports.com, Vidgo

All-time record: Santos holds the edge all time over all competitions, winning 18 to Querétaro’s 12 with the clubs drawing 12 times. They’ve only met three times outside of Liga MX play, with each team winning once and the clubs drawing once in Copa MX play. The last time they met, Santos won 1-0 at TSM thanks to a golazo from Matheus Dória.

Santos Laguna v Chivas - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX
Better known for being the tireless engine of the Santos midfield, Fernando Gorriarán is also Santos’ leading goalscorer so far in the 2020 Apertura..
Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images

After a rough loss last time out, a struggling Santos Laguna (1W 2D 3L) returns to TSM to host Querétaro (2W 1D 3L). Santos went up 1-0 last week against Necaxa (2W 2D 2L) before surrendering two goals in six minutes and losing 2-1 to Los Rayos. The good news for Santos is they’re unbeaten in Torreón dating back to March 2019 and have lost just three times at home going back to the start of 2018.

Dulling the pain of the loss last week is the fact that they also looked good for long stretches of play, imposing their will on Necaxa before inexplicably giving up two goals. Goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo has been solid in his first season as the starting goalkeeper, and Matheus Dória has been a rock steady presence as a central defender, countering the sometimes erratic play of Félix Torres and Hugo Rodríguez.

Offensively, Santos is struggling a bit with the absence of winger Brian Lozano. Without “Huevo”, Santos has only scored six goals, three of which have come from Lozano’s friend and countryman Fernando Gorriarán. Julio Furch has just one goal on the season, and he and Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre need to step up and start producing.

Queretaro v America - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX
It hasn’t been the easiest season so far for Gil Alcalá and Querétaro.
Photo by Omar Martinez Martinez/Getty Images

Santos can’t be lulled into a false sense of security against Querétaro with regards to their home form. Querétaro has played to the quality of their opponent this season, beating Cruz Azul (4W 1D 1L) 1-0 and thrashing América (3W 1D 2L) 4-1. They also lost to Atlas (1W 2D 3L) 1-0, so they are far from invincible.

Querétaro has struggled on both sides of the ball. Goalkeeper Gil Alcalá is quality, but their defensive corps is suspect and hasn’t looked very coherent for portions of the season. Offensively they’ve gotten two goals each from forwards Omar Islas and Hugo Silveira, but the unit needs to prove that it can be consistently good and produce goals. So far, it hasn’t really done that.

Both teams need to start winning and get themselves on solid footing. Even though the Liguilla has expanded to 12 teams, not everyone will make it and both Santos and Querétaro can’t afford to drop many more points and expect to make the playoffs. They should both look at this as an opportunity to get pointed back in the right direction, although it looks very likely that Santos will have more hope of a brighter future after the final whistle.