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Match preview: Santos Laguna vs. Necaxa

After a loss on the road to Pachuca, Santos has no time to grieve as they host Necaxa with three important points on the line.

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Fans of Santos during the 9th round match between Santos Laguna and Leon as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on August 18, 2022 in Torreon, Mexico. Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Impulsora del Deportivo Necaxa S.A. de C.V.

Date: Tuesday, September 6th

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: Daniel Quintero Huitrón, AR1: Michel Alejandro Morales Morales, AR2: Michel Caballero Galicia, 4TH: Joaquín Alberto Vizcarra Armenta, VAR: Carlos Ayala Cuéllar, AVAR: Katia Itzel García Mendoza

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

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), Sling TV (Subscription), ESPN+, ViX+ (Mexico only)

All-time record: Necaxa holds the all-time record across all competitions with 27 wins to Santos’ 23, while the clubs have drawn 19 times. They also hold the edge in Liga MX play, with 26 wins to Santos’ 21 and 19 draws. The other matches were in the Copa MX, with Santos wining two and losing one to Los Rayos. In their last meeting, Necaxa handed Santos a 4-1 loss in Torreón on a brace from Rodrigo Aguirre and goals from Angelo Araos and Milton Giménez, while Santos’ lone goal was scored by Félix Torres.

Marcelo Correa of Santos celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the 16th round match between Tijuana and Santos Laguna as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Caliente Stadium on August 25, 2022 in Tijuana, Mexico.
Javier Correa is one of four players on Santos with three goals on the season, but he’ll miss the match after having picked up a red card in the match against Pachuca.
Photo by Carlos Heredia/Jam Media/Getty Images

After a tough loss on the road to Pachuca on Saturday, Santos has a quick turnaround to host Necaxa tonight at TSM. While the loss was a disappointment, especially after keeping Pachuca off of the board into the second half, Santos only fell to fourth place on the table and still has a game in hand against six teams including second place Monterrey and fifth place Toluca.

The return to TSM should be a lift too, since they’ve gotten 16 of a total 18 possible points at home this season, with the only blemish being a Week 3 draw against Chivas. Santos has been brilliant on the offensive side of the ball, sitting in second place in the league with 24 goals with four players (Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre, Harold Preciado, Juan Brunetta, and Javier Correa) each with three and eight other players with at least one goal on the season. The defense hasn’t been shabby either, tied with San Luis for seventh place after giving up 14 goals in 12 games.

Santos is a bit banged up however, missing Matheus Dória with an ankle injury and Félix Torres with an injured hamstring. Hugo Rodríguez and Roni Prieto have taken the center back duties and performed admirably. They’ll also miss Correa, who picked up a red card in the 85th minute. Look for Aguirre or Diego Medina to replace him.

Facundo Batista of Necaxa celebrates after scoring the second goal of his team during the 12th round match between Necaxa and Leon as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Victoria Stadium on September 2, 2022 in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Facundo Batista (L) is tied with Milton Giménez for the lead for Necaxa with four goals this season.
Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images

Necaxa meanwhile comes into the match on the heels of a 3-2 win over León in Aguascalientes, ending a four game winless streak. On the road, Necaxa has won two, lost two, and drawn two, conceding six and scoring six as well.

Overall, Los Rayos have scored 14 while conceding 17 on the season, putting them in ninth place offensively and twelfth place defensively. Eight of Necaxa’s fourteen goals have come from Facundo Batista and Milton Giménez, who each have four on the season so far.

Containing this duo will be key for Santos, will also relish putting their high octane offense against a team that has struggled to contain their opponents throughout the season. With the exception of the Tigres game two weeks ago that ended in a 0-0 tie, Necaxa hadn’t shut anyone out since a July 27 2-0 win against Pachuca.