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Match preview: Gallos Blancos de Querétaro vs. Santos Laguna

With just three matches left, Santos faces Querétaro as both fight for their playoff lives.

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Aerial view of Corregidora Stadium prior to the semifinals first leg match between America and Leon as part of the Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX on May 16, 2019 in Querétaro, Mexico.
Aerial view of Corregidora Stadium prior to the semifinals first leg match between America and Leon as part of the Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX on May 16, 2019 in Querétaro, Mexico.
Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

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

Date: Saturday, October 30th

Time: 6:00 p.m. Eastern, 5:00 p.m. Central, 3:00 p.m. Pacific, 10:00 p.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corregidora (Querétaro, Qro.)

Referees: REF: Jorge Antonio Pérez Durán, AR1: Pablo Israel Hernández Luna, AR2: Michel Caballero Galicia, 4TH: Edgar Ulises Rangel Araujo VAR: José Alfredo Peñaloza Soto, AVAR: Igor Itzsvan Flores Florian

Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - TV Azteca, 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 (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo

All-time record: Santos holds the edge all time over all competitions, winning 19 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 the clubs met, Querétaro beat Santos 1-0 in La Corregidora back on April 11 thanks to a Gonzalo Montes goal.

Eduardo Aguirre of Santos controls the ball during the 15th round match between Santos Laguna and Toluca as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Torreon, Mexico.
Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre’s goal in stoppage secured a point against Toluca last week.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

With just three games left in the season, there are no unimportant matches. For Santos, a win and some results elsewhere could at least guarantee a spot in the repechaje. In their way is Querétaro, who could be on the cusp of elimination with a loss and other results not panning out this weekend.

Santos comes into the match after gutting out a 2-2 tie against Toluca last week, with Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre securing the draw with a goal in stoppage after Santos gave up two goals in the second half. But this result came at TSM, where Santos’ regular season losses don’t hit the double-digits unless you go back to 2016. They’ve been less reliable on the road, getting only six out of a possible eighteen points this season.

The good news is that Santos might finally be getting everyone healthy. Carlos Acevedo played with the U20s last week, and all signs are that he’ll at least be available to play. Andrés Ibargüen also played 31 minutes last week, and Brian Lozano has been practicing with the team after his injury during the Week 12 match against Mazatlán on October 2. Having all of these players back would be a huge boost for the club.

Jonathan Dos Santos #09 of Queretaro celebrates the first scored goal of Queretaro during the 12th round match between Toluca and Queretaro as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX at Nemesio Diez Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Toluca, Mexico.
Jonathan Dos Santos is Querétaro’s leading goalscorer with just three of the team’s nine goals this season.
Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Querétaro however will be a tough test. They’re undefeated in their last four at home, allowing just one goal in that stretch. Their defense has allowed just 14 goals in their 15 games, which ties them with Santos (although Santos has played one fewer game).

The rub here is that Querétaro have scored only nine goals this season, which is dead last in the league. Their six goals scored at home is still tied for last with Tijuana and Atlas. They haven’t been good at home lately, they’ve been good enough, which has been good enough.

Santos has to recognize the gravity of this game. A win can just about secure their place in the postseason and keep them mathematically in contention to skip the repechaje and go straight to the Liguilla with a top four finish. In order to do this they’ll have to beat a Gallos Blancos team that has just been good enough for most of the season.