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Match preview: Santos Laguna vs. Club Atlético de San Luis

The clubs meet for the first time since last season’s racial abuse incident with playoff places up in the air.

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Guillermo Almada, coach of Santos looks on prior the 11th round match between Pumas UNAM and Santos Laguna as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX at Olimpico Universitario Stadium on November 04, 2021 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Guillermo Almada, coach of Santos looks on prior the 11th round match between Pumas UNAM and Santos Laguna as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico A21 Liga MX at Olimpico Universitario Stadium on November 04, 2021 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club Atlético de San Luis

Date: Sunday, November 7th

Time: 7:06 p.m. Eastern, 6:06 p.m. Central, 4:06 p.m. Pacific, 1:06 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Guerrero Ramírez, AR1: Marco Antonio Bisguerra Mendiola, AR2: Eduardo Acosta Orea, 4TH: Mario Humberto Vargas Mata, VAR: Jorge Antonio Pérez Durán, AVAR: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala

Television: United States - FOX Sports 2, FOX Deportes Network; Mexico - TUDN;

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), Sling TV (Subscription), FOX Sports GO, Vidgo (Subscription)

All-time record: This will be just the fourth time San Luis and Santos have met in Liga MX play, with their last match ending in a 1-0 win for San Luis in a game that was marred by allegations of a San Luis player and the technical staff hurling racist and homophobic abuse. Santos beat San Luis 2-1 at TSM in their last match in Torreón on goals from Gael Sandoval and Juilo Furch. Germán Berterame got the lone goal for Atleti in that match. The teams have met four times before in Copa MX play, with each team winning once and the teams drawing twice.

Brian Lozano returned last time out after missing four matches due to injury.
Brian Lozano returned last time out after missing four matches due to injury.
Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images

The last game of the 2021 Grita México tournament will most likely determine the final matchups of the upcoming repechaje. Santos Laguna can finish as high as fifth in the table, playing at home in the repechaje with a win over Atlético San Luis. San Luis however will most likely be playing for a chance at the postseason, with a win and possibly a draw securing them a spot in the repechaje, a loss sending them home for the holidays early.

The good news for Santos is that they’re not only playing well but have just about their full squad available for selection. Brian Lozano came back for the last game against Pumas after missing the previous four injured. The only question mark is around Alessio Da Cruz, who was not on the game day roster against Pumas but should be returning to the lineup soon.

Santos also looked dominant against Pumas, a side of themselves that hasn’t always been evident this season. Santos got out to an early lead and never let Pumas back into the game. Diego Valdés had a brace, and both goals came from the run of play instead of from free kicks. And Carlos Acevedo stopped a penalty kick in Pumas’ only real chance of the match.

Germán Berterame has nine goals for San Luis this season, however last season he was alleged to have racially abused Félix Torres.
Germán Berterame has nine goals for San Luis this season, however last season he was alleged to have racially abused Félix Torres.
Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images

They’ll need that same level of play against San Luis, who have struggled lately but pulled off two straight draws against Monterrey and Pachuca. San Luis has also not won a game at home since September 16 and hasn’t won a game at all since September 26. Since their last win, they’ve conceded eleven goals in six games and scored just three.

One bright spot has been Germán Berterame, who has scored a league leading nine goals including a hat-trick against Tijuana back in Week 9. Beyond Berterame however, only two other players have more than one goal on the season; Adam Bareiro and Andrés Vombergar each have two.

Santos knows Berterame’s name all too well. Berterame was alleged to have racially abused Félix Torres during the teams’ last meeting in San Luis Potosí, however the league couldn’t prove it was Berterame that hurled the abuse and he was not punished. It will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out in the match, especially with so much at stake.