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Match preview: Santos Laguna vs. Monterrey

Two of the league’s best meet up in Torreón as Santos hosts Rayados.

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Santos Laguna v America - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images

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

Date: Sunday, January 14th

Time: 8:06 p.m. Eastern, 7:06 p.m. Central, 5:06 p.m. Pacific, 1:06 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos, AR1: Karen Janett Díaz Medina, AR2: Marco Antonio Bisguerra Mendiola, 4TH: Mario Humberto Vargas Mata, VAR: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo, AVAR: Igor Itzsvan Flores Florian

Television: United States - Fox Sports 2, FOX Deportes Network; Mexico - Fox Sports 2 Cono Norte; 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), Sling TV (Free trial + monthly subscription), FOX Sports GO, Vidgo (Free trial + monthly subscription)

All-time record: Monterrey holds the all time edge, winning 32 to Santos’ 25 while the teams have drawn 27 times. In Liga MX play, Monterrey holds the 27 to 22 advantage with 25 draws. In the playoffs, Monterrey won their fourth championship 5-3 on aggregate in the 2010 Apertura. Santos won their fourth championship 3-2 on aggregate in the 2012 Clausura. They also met in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 Apertura with Monterrey winning that 3-0 on aggregate, and again in the 2019 Apertura quarterfinal round where Rayados advanced 6-3 on aggregate en route to their fifth championship.

The clubs have also met in the Copa MX, with Santos winning twice to Monterrey’s once as well as in Concacaf Champions League twice with Monterrey winning both the 2011-12 Final 3-2 on aggregate and the 2012-13 Final on 4-2 aggregate. The last time the clubs met, they played to a 2-2 draw with Julio Furch getting a goal for Santos and Nicolás Sánchez scoring a goal and an own goal. The last time the clubs met in league play in Torreón, Santos won 2-1 in Torreón back on August 23, 2019.

Santos Laguna () returns home after a disappointing draw away to Atlas (). TSM however has been a fortress for them, losing just three regular season home games going back to 2018. They’ll need that home field advantage as Monterrey () makes the short journey west.

Santos has looked good overall this season, last week’s draw notwithstanding. They’re still within striking distance of the superlíder position and have been getting good consistent play from their key players in addition to some good surprises. Félix Torres has matured after an error-prone first couple of seasons. Santiago Muñoz and Omar Campos have come in from the U20s and have shown great promise, with each having scored a goal so far this season.

Monterrey is the same Rayados you’ve come to expect. They’ve got a lineup full of talented players that should steamroll most teams that get in their way but inexplicably don’t. They had an unconvincing 0-0 draw against Puebla () in Week 4 and eked out a 1-0 win over a depleted Pumas () team last week, but are still a strong side. They also came into the week tied for superlíder despite having missed Week 3 due to an outbreak of COVID-19 on the team.

Santos’ home field advantage is legendary, but Monterrey’s quiet ascent up the table especially with that roster can’t be overlooked. Even though Rayados will be without Nicolás Sánchez due to a leg injury and Vincent Janssens hasn’t played since Week 1, they still have one of the best and deepest rosters in the league. This will not be an easy match by any stretch of the imagination, for either side, and fans should be in for a treat.