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Match preview: FC Juárez vs. Santos Laguna

Santos looks to build on their CCL win as they take on Juárez in the Borderland.

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Aerial view of the stadium prior to the 17th round match between FC Juarez and Toluca as part of the Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX at Olimpico Benito Juarez on April 30, 2021 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Photo by Alejandro Rodriguez/Jam Media/Getty Images

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

Date: Friday, February 18th

Time: 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, 7:00 p.m. Pacific, 2:00 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Olímpico Benito Juárez (Ciudad Juárez, Chih.)

Referees: REF: Fernando Hernandez Gomez, AR1: Michel Alejandro Morales Morales, AR2: Enrique Martìnez Sandoval, 4TH: Maximiliano Quintero Hernández, VAR: Eduardo Galvan Basulto, AVAR: Victor Alfonso Caceres Hernandez

Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - TUDN, Azteca 7; Canada - OneSoccer

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), Sling TV (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo, OneSoccer (Subscription), Onefootball (Subscription)

All-time record: Santos has never lost to FC Juárez, winning six and drawing three across all competitions. The last time the clubs met, Santos got a 2-0 win in Torreón thanks to goals from Félix Torres and Alessio Da Cruz. The last time they met in Juárez, the teams ended in a 1-1 draw with Dario Lezcano converting a penalty for the hosts while Bryan Garnica got the equalizer for Santos.

Pedro Caixinha, head coach of Santos during the 5th round match between Santos Laguna and America as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on February 12, 2022 in Torreon, Mexico.
Santos’ Pedro Caixinha has drawn the ire of a lot of the fans who blame him for the club’s poor start.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

After gritting out a 1-0 win at home against CF Montréal in the opening round of Concacaf Champions League play on Tuesday, Santos heads to the Borderland to face off against Juárez. Santos has lost four straight games in league play, while Juárez has won two and lost two, having a game in hand over most of the rest of the league due to their Week 5 match against Monterrey being postponed with Rayados in the Club World Cup.

Santos has been uncharacteristically poor on defense, allowing a league most 13 goals in their five matches this season. In comparison, Santos only allowed 16 goals across all 17 games last season.

Diego Rolan of Juarez celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the 1st round match between FC Juarez and Necaxa as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at Olimpico Benito Juarez on January 7, 2022 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Diego Rolan’s leads all of FC Juárez with two goals so far on the season.
Photo by Alejandro Rodriguez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Juárez meanwhile has struggled on offense. While they have played one fewer game than other teams, they have just four goals in those four games. Diego Rolan has two of the four goals, with Fernando Arce, Jr. and Anderson Leite each scoring one.

Juárez has however been competent on defense, allowing just five goals in their four games. They shut out San Luis on the road in Week 3, but in their last match in Week 4 they were beaten 3-1 at home by Chivas. They’ll be well rested and will have had plenty of opportunity to watch film of Santos to find weaknesses.

Both teams should look at this match as a good opportunity. Santos finally has some momentum, getting a win this year and hoping to build on that. Juárez meanwhile will be well rested and have an opponent in their building that has struggled in league competition.