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Match preview: Gallos Blancos de Querétaro vs. Santos Laguna

Santos remains on the road, heading to Querétaro and needing to get three points to solidify their spot in the Liguilla.

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Queretaro v Tigres UANL - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

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

Date: Sunday, April 11th

Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 11:00 p.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corregidora (Querétaro, Qro.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Hernandez Gomez, AR1: Michel Alejandro Morales Morales, AR2: Miguel Angel Chua Ortiz, 4TH: Ismael Rosario Lopez Peñuelas, VAR: Juan Joel Rangel Maya, AVAR: Christian Adrián Ramírez Tejeda

Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - FOX Sports 2, Imagen Televisión; 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), TUDN En Vivo

All-time record: Santos holds the edge all time over all competitions, winning 19 to Querétaro’s 12 with the clubs drawing 12 times. They’ve only met three times outside of Liga MX play, with each team winning once and the clubs drawing once in Copa MX play. The last time the clubs met, Santos won 2-1 in Torreón thanks to goals by Josecarlos Van Rankin and Octavio Rivero while Querétaro’s lone goal was a penalty by Hugo Silveira back on August 30, 2020. The last time they met In Querétaro was all the way back on November 14, 2018 when Rafael Puente, Jr.’s Gallos beat Santos 2-1 with goals from Alexis Pérez and Daniel Villalva with Santos’ lone goal coming from Jonathan “Cabecita” Rodríguez.

Santos Laguna v Mazatlan FC - Torneo Guard1anes 2020 Liga MX
Alan Cervantes has played admirably this season, earning a national team call up for México’s Olympic qualifying.
Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images

After a completely unsatisfying road draw, Santos Laguna will look to improve their record away from home by taking on Gallos Blancos de Querétaro. Santos drew a poor Chivas side last time out, allowing a goal in the 74th minute on a throw in. In a press conference earlier in the week however, manager Guillermo Almada said “We aren’t going to change anything, (but) get better yes.”

Almada’s options to change are limited. Santos is still without midfielder Fernando Gorriarán (sports hernia) and winger Brian Lozano (broken leg), however Juan Ferney Otero has proven a suitable replacement for Lozano and in the match against Chivas Alan Cervantes played well enough, although Cervantes will need to integrate a little more with the midfield. He’s not the workhorse that Gorriarán is, bringing a little better passing with a lot less work rate, and the rest of the unit will need to adjust for the differences in styles between the players.

Queretaro v Tigres UANL - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX
Gil Alcalá has had a tough season for Querétaro, allowing eleven goals in six appearances.
Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

Querétaro should be a similar foe to Chivas for Santos. Both teams have scored 16 goals this season (Santos has 15), while Chivas is the slightly better team defensively, allowing 19 goals to Querétaro’s 23 (Santos has allowed just 10). They allowed a four goal outburst by Cruz Azul in Week 4 and have three games where they allowed three goals. Gil Alcalá is a decent enough goalkeeper, however the line in front of him has not been able to gel.

Santos will need to take advantage of that shakiness early and often. Santiago Muñoz and (to an extent) Jesús Ocejo have shown they have potential to be top tier strikers in Liga MX, and if either or both of them can have that potential come to fruition against Gallos it could be just the thing to put Santos back on track after a couple of sour results.