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Match preview: Santos Laguna vs. Guadalajara

Reeling from the loss of a fan favorite, Santos hosts a struggling Chivas as both teams attempt to get back on track.

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Felix Torres of Santos celebrates after scoring the second goal of his team at during the 1st round match between Santos Laguna and Monterrey as part of Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX Corona Stadium on July 3, 2022 in Torreon, Mexico. Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

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

Date: Saturday, July 16th

Time: 8:05 p.m. Eastern, 7:05 p.m. Central, 5:05 p.m. Pacific, 12:05 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)

Referees: REF: Marco Antonio Ortiz Nava, AR1: Jose Ibrahim Martinez Chavarria, AR2: Michel Caballero Galicia, 4TH: Guillermo Pacheco Larios, VAR: Adonai Escobedo González, AVAR: Jorge Antonio Sánchez Espinoza

Television: United States - ESPN Deportes; Mexico - TUDN, Azteca;

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

All-time record: Santos holds the all-time record across all competitions, with 33 wins to Chivas’ 24 while the clubs have drawn 23 times. Strictly in Liga MX play, Santos holds a 28-23 advantage while the clubs have drawn 22. Santos leads 4-1 in Copa MX play, and in the old Interliga Santos won one in 2004 and the sides drew one back in 2005. In more recent history, their last meeting ended in a 1-0 draw for Chivas in Guadalajara on a J.J. Macias goal in the 60th minute of play. The last time these teams met in Torreón, it ended in a scoreless draw back on August 15, 2021.

Brian Lozano of Santos reacts during the 1st round match between Santos Laguna and Monterrey as part of Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX Corona Stadium on July 3, 2022 in Torreon, Mexico.
Brian Lozano was loaned out to Peñarol in his native Uruguay after disclosing he’d lost his passion for fútbol on his Twitter account earlier in the week.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Santos heads back to the comfort of home, hoping to put a tough week behind them as they host Chivas. The week started out with a tough loss against Puebla on the road, and then Santos lost a key player when Brian Lozano was sent on loan to Peñarol after declaring that he had lost his passion for fútbol.

Losing Lozano will be a huge blow for Santos, but the club did the right thing in trying to find a good situation for a player that has been an integral part of the team since arriving in 2017.

Santos will need to push this all aside and try to get a win, and the obvious question is who will replace Lozano. Because Lozano played most attacking positions, the answer isn’t as simple as pointing out one player. Jordan Carrillo will probably continue on the left wing, at least until Ayrton Preciado is fully healthy. Although during games they’d sometimes swap sides, Leo Suárez has been a lock on the right wing although how much he and Carrillo will switch sides during games will remain to be seen. Finally at central midfield it’ll most likely be Juan Brunetta who will be given the opportunity to run the offense and serve as the connection between the defense / lower midfield and the forwards.

Ricardo Cadena, head coach of Chivas looks on during the 2nd round match between Chivas and Atletico San Luis as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Akron Stadium on July 9, 2022 in Zapopan, Mexico.
Ricardo Cadena’s Chivas haven’t scored yet this season, however they have also only conceded one goal.
Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images

Chivas meanwhile comes in on the heels of a disappointing home stand where they drew Juárez 0-0 and lost 1-0 to Atlético de San Luis last week. Chivas is the only team in the league to have been shut out in both games this season, and they’ll come in intent on breaking that streak as soon as possible.

To Chivas’ credit, they’ve allowed the fewest goals against of any team so far this season, with Facundo Waller’s tally in first half stoppage time last week being the only blemish so far. That said, neither Juárez nor San Luis are offensive juggernauts, each scoring two goals thus far on the season.

Of course it’s early in the season, but these early games can be critical in building momentum and accruing points to mitigate later season slips. Santos knows all too well what a slow start can do, missing the repechaje last season thanks to a disastrous start. Santos’ home field advantage as always may provide the edge they need, but Chivas is almost always the home team no matter where they go.