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Match preview: Pachuca vs. Santos Laguna

Tuzos and Santos return from the international break looking to strengthen their case for the playoffs.

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Fans wearing a protective mask prior to the 12th round match between Pachuca and Tigres UANL as part of the Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX at Hidalgo Stadium on March 18, 2021 in Pachuca, Mexico.
Fans wearing a protective mask prior to the 12th round match between Pachuca and Tigres UANL as part of the Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX at Hidalgo Stadium on March 18, 2021 in Pachuca, Mexico.
Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

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

Date: Saturday, October 16th

Time: 8:05 p.m. Eastern, 7:05 p.m. Central, 5:05 p.m. Pacific, 12:05 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Hidalgo (Pachuca, Hgo.)

Referees: REF: Oscar Mejia Garcia, AR1: Andres Hernández Delgado, AR2: Edgar Magdaleno Castrejon, 4TH: Jorge Abraham Camacho Peregrina, VAR: Carlos Ayala Cuéllar, AVAR: Jesús Sevilla Palafox

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

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo

All-time record: Pachuca has a slight lead over Santos across all competitions, winning 23 to Santos’ 21 with 22 draws between them. The clubs are even in Liga MX play, with each team having 20 wins and splitting 19 draws. The teams met when were both in the Segunda División A (now Ascenso MX), with Pachuca winning twice, Santos winning once, and the clubs drawing once over the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons. The clubs also drew 1-1 in the 2008-09 SuperLiga and met in the 2018 Apertura Copa MX tournament, with Pachuca winning once and the teams drawing once as well. The last time the teams met, Pachuca won 1-0 on a Ismael Sosa penalty on April 27, 2021.

Ayrton Preciado played 16 minutes on Thursday in Ecuador’s match against Colombia, and he’ll be needed against Pachuca.
Ayrton Preciado played 16 minutes on Thursday in Ecuador’s match against Colombia, and he’ll be needed against Pachuca.
Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images

After the international break, Santos Laguna gets back into action as they head to Pachuca to take on Tuzos. Santos looked decent in their last match, a 1-0 win against Mazatlán in Torreón, but will be missing some key players.

Brian Lozano is out for 10-14 days with a grade 1 injury in his left hamstring, and Andrés Ibargüen will be out approximately the same amount of time with a grade 1 injury to his left calf. It’s also worth noting that Fernando Gorriarán, Diego Valdés, Félix Torres, and Ayrton Preciado represented their countries in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying matches in South America on Thursday, Add in that it appears that Carlos Acevedo is still not fully recovered from his shoulder injury, and Santos could have some real selection troubles.

The good news is that Gibran Lajud has done well in Acevedo’s absence, and that Gorriarán and Preciado were subbed in at the 71st and 74th minutes of their matches respectively so they may be able to go. Preciado would be a good option to replace Lozano, especially with Ibargüen also injured.

Óscar Murillo missed the last match injured, but could return for the match against Santos.
Óscar Murillo missed the last match injured, but could return for the match against Santos.
Photo by Mauricio Salas/Jam Media/Getty Images

Pachuca comes in just a point behind Santos in the standings, with both teams needing a win to strengthen their case to skip the repechaje and go straight into the Liguilla. Unlike Santos, they did not have any players out for the international break and are getting players back from injury instead of losing them to it. Óscar Murillo, Ismael Sosa, and Miguel Herrera could all be back in uniform for Tuzos, which could prove to be problematic for Los Guerreros.

Pachuca are undefeated in their last three, although they lost two straight before that including a 2-1 loss at home to Toluca and a 1-0 clunker on the road against Chivas. They’ve struggled at times this season, however Santos has struggled on the road, getting just five of twelve possible points away from TSM. It should nonetheless be a good match between two very hungry teams.