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Match preview: León vs. Santos Laguna

Finishing up a brutal part of their schedules, Santos faces off against León at the Nou Camp.

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A giant flag of Leon is seen during the final second leg match between Leon and Tigres UANL as part of the Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX at Leon Stadium on May 26, 2019 in Leon, Mexico.
A giant flag of Leon is seen during the final second leg match between Leon and Tigres UANL as part of the Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX at Leon Stadium on May 26, 2019 in Leon, Mexico.
Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

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

Date: Saturday, August 21st

Time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Central, 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 12:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio León (León, Gto.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Hernandez Gomez, AR1: Jorge Antonio Sánchez Espinoza, AR2: Edgar Magdaleno Castrejon, 4TH: Edgar Ulises Rangel Araujo, VAR: Cirilo Arturo Cruz Hurtado, AVAR: Jonhatan Benjamín Hernández Juárez

Television: United States - TUDN, Univision; Mexico - FOX Sports 2; Argentina - Claro Sports; Belize - FOX Sports 2; Bolivia - Claro Sports; Canada - Univision Canada; 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; Perú - Claro Sports; Puerto Rico - Claro Sports; Spain - Footters; Uruguay - Claro Sports; Venezuela - FOX Sports 2, Claro Sports

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo

All-time record: León holds the all time, with 20 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.

In their last meeting, León handed Santos a rare loss at home, winning 2-1 thanks to goal from Ángel Mena and Fernando Navarro, with Fernando Gorriarán scoring Santos’ lone goal from the penalty spot. The last time the clubs met at the Nou Camp, León got the better of Santos by a 2-1 score with goals from Luis “Chapito” Montes and José Ramírez while Julio Furch got the lone Santos goal.

Diego Valdés is Santos Laguna’s leading scorer with two goals so far on the season.
Diego Valdés is Santos Laguna’s leading scorer with two goals so far on the season.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Santos faces perhaps their toughest challenge in this tough stretch of games as they head to León to face La Fiera tonight. This will be the fifth game in 14 days Santos has played, picking up draws in league play against Tigres, Chivas, and Atlas while also beating Orlando City in Leagues Cup play in Florida.

Despite the grueling schedule, Santos has played rather well, conceding just two goals during the four games. That said, they only scored three goals during that stretch despite some good stretches of offensive play. The good news is that they should have Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre, Ayrton Preciado, and Brian Lozano back soon which should help Santos find the back of the net more.

Elías Hernández has two of León’s nine goals this season.
Elías Hernández has two of León’s nine goals this season.
Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images

While Santos is struggling offensively, León has exploded. In Liga MX they’ve scored seven goals across their last three games and scored six against Sporting Kansas City in Leagues Cup play. Six players have scored this season in Liga MX play, with Elías Hernández, Ángel Mena, and William Tesillo leading the team with two each. With the diversity in scoring talent, they will no doubt be a stern test for Santos’ defense.

They’ve been relatively good defensively, giving up five goals in their five league games. Four of those however came against Pachuca, in León’s only loss of the season. They’ll also be without Stiven Barreiro, who picked up a red card at the end of Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Chivas.

These two teams have really been through it over the past couple of weeks, and both will be looking forward to having some time to rest and recuperate before their next match. Liga MX is always a sprint, with teams having just 17 games to get as many points as they can. This season however there’s been a bit of a war of attrition thrown in, and both teams will need to dig deep to come out of this match with three points.