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Match preview: Club Tijuana vs. Santos Laguna

Xolos and Santos both need a win as the two teams face off at the Mictlán.

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Tijuana v America - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Francisco Vega/Getty Images

Game: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.

Date: Saturday, March 13th

Time: 10:06 p.m. Eastern, 9:06 p.m. Central, 7:06 p.m. Pacific, 2:06 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Caliente (Tijuana, B.C.)

Referees: REF: César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos, AR1: Jorge Antonio Sánchez Espinoza, AR2: Eduardo Acosta Orea, 4TH: Edgar Allan Morales Olvera, VAR: José Alfredo Peñaloza Soto, AVAR: Leon Vicente Barajas Anzures

Television: United States - FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes Network; Mexico - 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 (Free trial + monthly subscription), Sling TV (Free trial + monthly subscription), FOX Sports GO, Vidgo (Free trial + monthly subscription)

All-time record: Xolos holds the slight edge over Santos, winning six to Los Guerreros’ five with eight draws in Liga MX play. The last time the teams met, Santos got a 2-0 win in Torreón on a goal from Gael Sandoval and an autogol from Vladimir Loroña. The last time the teams met in Tijuana, Xolos got a 2-1 win back on January 10, 2020 thanks to goals from Camilo Sanvezzo and Mauro Lainez, while Santos’ lone goal was from Matheus Dória.

Club Tijuana v Leon - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX
Fidel Martínez started hot with four goals, but hasn’t scored in his last five games.
Photo by Francisco Vega/Getty Images

After a hot start, Tijuana (3W 4D 3L) has cooled off significantly, going winless in their last for and losing three of those matches. Santos Laguna (5W 3D 2L) on the other hand sits within striking distance of a Liguilla spot despite not winning on the road this season. Both teams will look to fix these trends as they face off tonight in Tijuana.

Tijuana started hot, not losing in their first six games and playing balanced soccer. The defense looked solid, the offense was scoring, and Xolos looked like the team they were predicted they’d be last season.

They’ve cooled considerably. Fidel Martínez hasn’t scored since Week 5, and in their last four games they’ve been outscored eight to four. In fairness, their last four games have been against the likes of Tigres (3W 3D 3L), Monterrey (5W 4D 1L), and América (7W 1D 2L), however they gave Pachuca (1W 4D 5L) their only win of the season so far.

Santos Laguna v Necaxa - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX
18 year old Santiago Muñoz received his first call up to the Mexico National Team thanks in large part to his emergence this season with Santos.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Santos on the other hand has been two different teams. At home they’ve won five and drawn once, outscoring opponents eleven to four. On the road however, they’ve drawn two and lost two, being outscored three to one.

Santos needs to get more offensive production while away from home, and the quick turf at Estadio Caliente might be the place to do it. Santiago Muñoz is the club’s leading goalscorer so far with three goals in 473 minutes, his run of form earning him a starting spot. Santos is also getting great performances from Fernando Gorriarán, who recently received his first call up to the Uruguayan National Team.

Santos has struggled on the road, however Tijuana might be a place where they can rebound and get a result. Tijuana has struggled on the road and at home, and hosting a strong team like Santos will be a daunting but not impossible task.