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Match preview: Santos Laguna vs. León

Shorthanded Santos hosts the defending champions in the final match (this week) of Week 12.

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

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

Date: Sunday, March 21st

Time: 9:06 p.m. Eastern, 8:06 p.m. Central, 6:06 p.m. Pacific, 1:06 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: Oscar Mejia Garcia, AR1: Enrique Martìnez Sandoval, AR2: Edgar Magdaleno Castrejon, 4TH: Mario Humberto Vargas Mata, VAR: Arturo Cruz Hurtado, AVAR: Oscar Macías Romo

Television: United States - FOX Sports 2, 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: León holds the all time, with 19 wins to Santos’ 16 and the clubs sharing 10 draws across all competitions. All of these results have come in Liga MX play except for one draw and one León win, which happened during the 1987-88 season of the Segunda División.

The last time the clubs met, León got the better of Santos by a 2-1 score at the Nou Camp with goals from Luis “Chapito” Montes and José Ramírez while Julio Furch got the lone Santos goal. The last time they met in Torreón, Santos got a 3-2 win at TSM back on January 19, 2020 thanks to goals from Brian Lozano, Diego Valdés, and Octavio Rivero while León got goals from Jean Menenses and Ángel Mena.

Santos Laguna v Necaxa - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX
Santiago Muñoz (#191) and Alan Cervantes (#6) will both miss the match against León while with the Mexican U23s at Olympic Qualifying.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Santos Laguna (6W 3D 2L) comes in on the heels of a solid road win against a floundering Tijuana (3W 4D 4L). Santos has now won three of their last four, the only blemish a 1-0 loss to Pumas (2W 3D 6L) in CU.

Santos has become a more complete team this season, with Guillermo Almada’s squad not showing many weaknesses. They’ve seen the maturation of goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo as well as center back Félix Torres, both of whom are living up to their potential at the moment. Santos has also gotten fantastic performances from Alan Cervantes and Santiago Muñoz, both of whom will miss the match with Mexico’s U23 squad at Olympic Qualifiers in Guadalajara.

Leon v Necaxa - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX
Víctor Dávila leads León with four goals in ten appearances.
Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images

They’ll now host León (3W 2D 6L), who have struggled this season after winning the Liga MX championship last season. León is suffering on all fronts at the moment, as their defense is twelfth with 15 goals allowed and their offense is fourteenth with 11 scored.

That said, León didn’t send anyone to Olympic Qualifying and will have their full squad available while Santos will have to cope with missing Cervantes and Muñoz, who have become integral parts of the squad over the course of this season. León may smell a golden opportunity and try and catch Santos flat-footed. While TSM has been a fortress, they can’t expect to win simply by showing up. That said, Almada’s squad has learned to take nothing for granted and to fight until the final whistle.