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Match preview: UNAM Pumas vs. Santos Laguna

It’ll be a rare game under the lights at Estatio Universitario as Pumas hosts Santos in a critical game for both teams’ postseason future.

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Pumas UNAM v FC Juarez - Torneo Apertura 2021 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Game: Club Universidad Nacional, Asociación Civil vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.

Date: Thursday, November 4th

Time: 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 1:00 a.m. UTC (Time zones shown are in Daylight Saving Time. Please check your local listings.)

Venue: Estadio Olímpico Universitario (Cuidad de México, D.F.)

Referees: REF: Adonai Escobedo González, AR1: Miguel Ángel Hernández Paredes, AR2: Enrique Martìnez Sandoval, 4TH: Oscar Macías Romo, VAR: Eduardo Galvan Basulto, AVAR: Edgar Allan Morales Olvera

Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - TUDN, Canal 5 Televisa; Canada - OneSoccer (Subscription)

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription),TUDN En Vivo, OneSoccer (Subscription)

All-time record: Pumas holds the all time record, winning 32 to Santos’ 21 with 21 draws across all competitions. Their only meetings outside of Liga MX play were in last year’s Copa MX matches which Santos won 5-4 on aggregate, winning the first leg 4-2 and losing the second 2-1. In their last meeting, Pumas beat Santos 1-0 in a midweek game at CU on a Juan Dinenno goal in the 69th minute.

Alessio Da Cruz and Brian Lozano could return to action this week for Santos as they press on toward the playoffs.
Alessio Da Cruz and Brian Lozano could return to action this week for Santos as they press on toward the playoffs.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Santos and Pumas come into this match on opposite sides of the playoff picture. Pumas is in 14th place entering the week, one point behind 12th place Chivas with a game in hand. Santos is in ninth place, one point ahead of Chivas in the standings and just four points behind fourth place Toluca for a chance to skip the repechaje and go straight into the Liguilla, also with a game in hand. A game in hand is only worth something if you get points out of it, and both will try and do just that tonight at the historic Estadio Olímpico Universitario.

Santos has an almost fully healthy roster, with just Jordan Carrillo and Jonathan Díaz ruled out due to injury. Alessio Da Cruz and Brian Lozano were in for physical conditioning and could potentially be available for selection. They will also be without Hugo Rodríguez, who was shown a red card in the last match against Querétaro.

Santos has performed pretty well on the road, getting two wins, three draws, and two losses this season. Their offense has come alive this season by bagging 20 goals, which is good for fourth in the league and behind teams that have all played one more game than they have. Fernando Gorriarán leads the team with four, while Alessio Da Cruz and Diego Valdés each have three.

Washington Corozo’s two goals in the past four games has helped push Pumas into Liguilla contention.
Washington Corozo’s two goals in the past four games has helped push Pumas into Liguilla contention.
Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Pumas comes in having hit a bit of a hot streak, getting 10 out of 12 possible points in their last four games. In those four games, Washington Corozo and Juan Ignacio Dinenno have each scored two goals and the defense has given up three goals. Pumas is playing with confidence after a rocky start to the season.

These results however have come at the expense of three of the bottom four teams in the league (FC Juárez, Tijuana, and Pachuca), and the seven goals scored during this run is over half of the thirteen total goals they’ve scored this season. Dinenno’s five goals lead the club, and Corozo has three, but no one else has more than one on the team.

Still they are a strong opponent and should be respected, especially considering their history of dominance over Santos. Regardless of what happens, both teams’ seasons will be irrevocably changed at the outcome.