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Liguilla match preview: Monterrey vs. Santos Laguna

The Liguilla quarterfinal series heads to Monterrey with Rayados down 2-1 to Santos Laguna

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Mexican Soccer Stadiums Remain Empty Due To Coronavirus Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

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

Date: Sunday, May 16th

Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Central, 4:00 p.m. Pacific, 11:00 p.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio BBVA (Guadulupe, N.L.)

Referees: REF: César Arturo Ramos Palazuelos, AR1: Alberto Morín Méndez Luna, AR2: Enrique Martìnez Sandoval, 4TH: Oscar Macías Romo, VAR: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo, AVAR: Fabrice Paul Plancon-Jallet

Television: United States - FOX Sports 2, FOX Deportes Network; Mexico - FOX Sports 2, Claro Sports; Argentina - Claro Sports; Belize - FOX Sports 2, Claro Sports; Bolivia - Claro Sports; Chile - Claro Sports; Colombia - Claro Sports; Costa Rica - FOX Sports 2, Claro Sports; Cuba - Claro Sports; Dominican Republic - FOX Sports 2, Claro Sports; Ecuador - Claro Sports; El Salvador - FOX Sports 2, Claro Sports; Guatemala - FOX Sports 2, Claro Sports; Honduras - FOX Sports 2, Claro Sports; Nicaragua - FOX Sports 2, Claro Sports; Panama - FOX Sports 2, Claro Sports; Paraguay - Claro Sports; Peru - Claro Sports; Puerto Rico - Claro Sports; Uruguay - Claro Sports; Venezuela - FOX Sports 2, Claro Sports

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

All-time record: Monterrey holds the all time edge, winning 32 to Santos’ 27 while the teams have drawn 27 times. In Liga MX play, Monterrey holds the 27 to 24 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, Santos won the opening leg of this series 2-1 with goals from Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre and Ayrton Preciado, while Vincent Janssen got the lone goal for Rayados. The last time they met in Monterrey, they wound up in a 2-2 draw back on August 8, 2020. Nicolás Sánchez and Dorlan Pabón scored for Monterrey, while Julio Furch scored for Santos and Sánchez had an autogol.

Santos will have Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre back from Olympic duty for this game.
Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre has three goals in two postseason games for Santos.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Santos Laguna played a masterful 90 minutes against Monterrey on Thursday night, thoroughly out-playing Monterrey and picking up a 2-1 lead in the series. But this series is far from over, and both teams will feel confident they’ll be able to send the other packing while advancing to the Liguilla semifinals.

For Santos, they can take heart that they thoroughly outclassed a tough Rayados side and got solid games from their key players. Fernando Gorriarán and Diego Valdés showed no signs that they had missed significant portions of the season injured, with Gorriarán contributing an assist and playing perhaps one of the best two-way shifts of anyone this season. Gorriarán also received another callup to the Uruguay National Team on Friday, his second senior national team callup (he had to pull out of his first invite in March with a sports hernia).

Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre also scored, picking up his third goal of the postseason. Of course Guillermo Almada will make some tweaks, but there are a lot of positives for him and the team to build upon.

Tigres UANL v Monterrey - Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX
Rogelio Funes Mori played only 36 minutes on Thursday, and the rest of the forwards should be fairly well-rested heading into the match.
Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

Monterrey however will have the comfort of having picked up an away goal, thanks to Vincent Janssen capitalizing on a mistake from Carlos Acevedo. They will also be playing against a Santos team without right winger Juan Ferney Otero, who suffered ligament damage to his right knee in the match on Thursday. Otero had really come into his own on the right, and will most likely be replaced by Jesús Isijara or Andrés Ibargüen. Both are capable, but Otero had really found his form and will be missed regardless of who starts.

Monterrey also was able to rest Rogelio Funes Mori played just 36 minutes, coming in for Janssen. Both will be relatively fresh, and with Aké Loba not playing at all Rayados will have options going forward. Whomever they start, Monterrey will also have their fans in their building.

Both teams will need to be at their best to advance. Santos showed how good they could be last time out, while Monterrey has the potential to play against anyone at any time. Whichever team’s season is still alive after this one will have absolutely earned it.