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Match preview: Tigres UANL vs. Santos Laguna

Both Tigres and Santos come into this one with something to prove.

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General view of the Universitario Stadium prior the semifinal between Canada and Jamaica as part of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship at Universitario Stadium on July 14, 2022 in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

Game: Club de Fútbol Tigres de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.

Date: Sunday, August 14th

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

Venue: Estadio Universitario (San Nicolas de los Garza, N.L.)

Referees: REF: Diego Montaño Robles, AR1: Enrique Martìnez Sandoval, AR2: Erick Duron Martinez, 4TH: Gustavo Padilla Aguirre, VAR: Carlos Ayala Cuéllar, AVAR: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala

Television: United States - TUDN, UniMás; Mexico - IZZI

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo

All-time record: Across all competitions, Tigres holds the lead with 30 wins to Santos’ 26 with 30 draws between them. In Liga MX play, Tigres has won 25 to Santos’ 23 with 29 draws. Most notably, Tigres beat Santos in the 2011 Apertura Final for their third championship, while Santos advanced past Tigres in the 2012 Clausura semifinal en route to their fourth championship. Tigres also defeated Santos in the 2018 Campeon de Campeones and in the 2018-19 Concacaf Champions League semifinal round. Tigres eliminated Santos from the 2021 Clausura Quarterfinals with a 1-0 win at El Volcán on a goal from Carlos Salcedo. In their last regular season meeting at El Volcán, the teams drew 1-1 with goals from Salcedo and Fernando Gorriarán. The last time the teams faced off, the clubs also played to a 1-1 draw in Torreón with goals from Brian Lozano and Salcedo in Week 1 of the 2022 Clausura.

Hugo Rodriguez of Santos celebrates after scoring the second goal of his team during the 7th round match between Santos Laguna and Cruz Azul as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on August 6, 2022 in Torreon, Mexico.
Co-leading the team in goals, Hugo Rodríguez will most likely again get the start since captain Matheus Dória is still battling injury.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Santos Laguna entered the week five points behind Tigres in the standings, and while a win won’t catch them, it’ll put Los Guerreros back into fourth place and pull them within two while retaining a game in hand. The problem however is that Santos hasn’t won at El Volcán since a 1-0 result in the second leg of the 2015 Clausura Quarterfinals, and the last time they won a regular season game there was on February 18, 2010 during the Bicentenario when they picked up a 2-1 win on goals from Daniel “Hachita” Ludueña and Jonathan Lacerda.

Santos has started the 2022 Apertura well, and the 4-0 win at home last week against Cruz Azul showed that the team can play a complete match, dominating for 90 minutes and giving their opponents little hope. They’ve been getting scoring-by-committee, with Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre and Hugo Rodríguez tied for the team lead with two goals so far this season. Rodríguez will most likely get a chance for more against Tigres, as captain Matheus Dória is still battling an injury to his right leg.

Referee Daniel Quintero shows red card to Jesus Angulo of Tigres during the 7th round match between Pachuca and Tigres UANL as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Hidalgo Stadium on August 07, 2022 in Pachuca, Mexico.
Tigres will be without Jesús Angulo after he picked up a red card last week against Pachuca.
Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Tigres meanwhile struggled mightily last week, ending a five game win streak at Pachuca. They lost Jesús Angulo in the twelfth minute to a red card, eventually losing the match 2-0 to Tuzos. It was one of their worst performances in recent memory, and having come against a top opponent it raises some questions about their prospects for resuming the torrid pace of points for the rest of the season.

Tigres are still a top team in the league and should not be taken lightly. They still have a ton of offensive weapons, with André-Pierre Gignac spearheading the unit. Gignac only has three goals so far on the season, but is always a threat not only to score but as a decoy for teammates. Tigres also boasts one of the better goalkeepers in the league with Nauel “Patón” Guzmán and one of the better midfielders in perhaps the world with Florian Thauvin.

Both teams should be eager to show the best versions of themselves. Tigres will want to show that last week was a fluke and that they are a very real threat to win it all, while Santos wants to show their shellacking of Cruz Azul was a sign of things to come for those who face them, erasing over a decade of bad results with it.