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Match preview: Monterrey vs. Santos Laguna

Red-hot Santos heads east to face Rayados, who have struggled a bit lately.

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Aerial view of the BBVA Bancomer Stadium prior the second leg of the Torneo Apertura 2017 Liga MX final between Monterrey and Tigres UANL at BBVA Bancomer Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

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

Date: Saturday, April 9th

Time: 8:06 p.m. Eastern, 7:06 p.m. Central, 5:06 p.m. Pacific, 12:06 a.m. UTC

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

Referees: REF: Marco Antonio Ortiz Nava, AR1: Alberto Morín Méndez, AR2: Marco Antonio Bisguerra Mendiola, 4TH: Louis Adrian Vielmas Valdez, VAR: Fernando Hernandez Gomez, AVAR: Jorge Abraham Camacho Peregrina

Television: United States - ESPN Deportes; Mexico - FOX Sports 2,

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), Sling TV (Subscription), ESPN+, Vidgo (Subscription)

All-time record: Monterrey holds the all time edge, winning 33 to Santos’ 27 while the teams have drawn 28 times. In Liga MX play, Monterrey holds the 28 to 24 advantage with 26 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, again in the 2019 Apertura quarterfinal round where Rayados advanced 6-3 on aggregate en route to their fifth championship, and in the 2021 Clausura quarterfinal round where Santos advanced 3-2 on aggregate thanks to a late goal by Roni Prieto in the vuelta leg.

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 during the regular season, Monterrey picked up a rare win in Torreón with a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Alfonso González and Duván Vergara while Brian Lozano got the lone goal for Santos.

Harold Preciado of Santos kicks the ball during the 12th round match between Santos Laguna and Pachuca as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on April 3, 2022 in Torreon, Mexico.
Harold Preciado has been a revelation for Santos, scoring six goals in just 709 minutes of play.
Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images

After a convincing win at home against Pachuca, Santos heads on the road to face local rivals Rayados. Santos has taken 13 points from their last six games, the only blemish being a 1-0 loss against Chivas in Guadalajara before the last international break. During that stretch they’ve scored 14 goals while allowing just seven.

Part of Santos’ turnaround has been replacing Pedro Caixinha with Eduardo Fentanes as the manager, and this has coincided with the emergence of Harold Preciado as a scoring threat. Preciado joined Santos on January 29, debuting against Atlas in Week 4. Since then he’s scored six goals, which has him tied with Rodrigo Aguirre for third-best in the league behind only Nicolás Ibáñez and André-Pierre Gignac.

Santos’ offense has caught up with their defense, which still continues to put forth dominant performances. Since Fentanes took over, Santos has allowed two goals just twice, with those matches ending in a draw and Santos win.

Joel Campbell of Monterrey gestures during the 4th round match between Toluca and Monterrey as part of the Torneo Grita Mexico C22 Liga MX at Nemesio Diez Stadium on April 06, 2022 in Toluca, Mexico.
Joel Campbell leads Monterrey with four goals on the season.
Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Monterrey meanwhile comes in on the heels of a 2-0 loss to Clásico Regiomontano rivals Tigres last week. Monterrey still sits one point over Santos in the standings despite having a game in hand. Prior to that they had won two in a row at home by identical 2-1 scorelines, downing América and Mazatlán.

While always dangerous, Rogelio Funes Mori has missed a lot of time this season, missing the first part of February and not playing since Week 9. The goalscoring has instead fallen on Joel Campbell, who has a team-high four in ten games. Vincent Janssen has no goals in nine appearances,

Monterrey are in a bit of a funk, and will have a difficult time against Santos. Still, Rayados are dangerous at home and have the talent to compete with anyone and everyone in the league.