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Match preview: Atlas vs. Santos Laguna

Familiar foes meet at Estadio Jalisco as both Santos and Atlas look to prove their runs of form are not simply a fluke.

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General view of Jalisco Stadium with a pink and blue sky visible during the 12th round match between Atlas and Pumas UNAM as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Jalisco Stadium on September 3, 2022 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

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

Date: Thursday, January 26th

Time: 10:05 p.m. Eastern, 9:05 p.m. Central, 7:05 p.m. Pacific, 2:05 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Jalisco (Guadalajara, Jal.)

Referees: REF: Marco Antonio Ortiz Nava, AR1: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala, AR2: Jéssica Fernanda Morales Morales, 4TH: Daniel Quintero Huitrón, VAR: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo, AVAR: Katia Itzel García Mendoza

Television: United States - TUDN; Mexico - iZZi

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo

All-time record: Santos holds the all-time record across all competitions, winning 34 to Atlas’ 17 while the clubs have drawn 28 times. The clubs drew both their meeting in the 2003-04 Interliga and in the 2009-10 SuperLiga, with all other results being in Liga MX play. The last time the clubs met, Santos picked up a 1-0 win in Torreón in July thanks to a Juan Brunetta goal in the 59th minute. The last time they played in Guadalajara, Atlas picked up a 2-1 win on February 6 with a goal from Jairo Torres and an autogol from Alan Cervantes, while Harold Preciado got the lone goal for Santos.

Eduardo Aguirre (R) of Santos celebrates with Santiago Muñoz (L) after scoring his team’s first goal during the 15th round match between Santos Laguna and Toluca as part of the Torneo Guard1anes 2021 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on April 18, 2021 in Torreon, Mexico.
After a loan stint with Newcastle United, Santiago Muñoz has returned to Santos and could be available for selection.
Photo by Jos Alvarez/Jam Media/Getty Images

After a disappointing loss to start the season, Santos has reeled off two straight wins and sit one point behind superlíder Tigres. Santos looked good in their last match at Mazatlán, keeping Mazatlán from creating many chances and capitalizing on the ones they created. They’ll take that good run of form to Estadio Jalisco to face Atlas in a rare Thursday match.

Santos will be without Roni Prieto, who underwent an arthroscopy on his right knee. They will also most likely be without Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre, who underwent surgery for a herniated disc last week. The good news however is that Santiago Muñoz returned from a loan spell with Newcastle United and could be available to play, although the report from the club indicates Muñoz is “focused on his rehabilitation and physical conditioning plan.”

Brian Lozano (L) of Atlas fights for the ball with Pavel Perez (R) of Chivas during the match between Chivas and Atlas as part of the Copa Por Mexico 2022 at Jalisco Stadium on December 27, 2022 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Former Santos winger Brian “Huevo” Lozano will face off against his former team for the first time since returning to the league after a stint with Peñarol.
Photo by Carlos Zepeda/Jam Media/Getty Images

Atlas comes in with just four points, which could be deceiving. They have a game in hand as a result of their first match against Toluca being postponed because of poor pitch conditions at Estadio Jalisco, due in part to a cold spell that hit the region as well as two concerts by Los Bukis as part of their reunion tour. In their other two games, they beat Mazatlán at home 2-1 and then drew Querétaro on the road 3-3 in their first match back at La Corregidora since a bloody riot broke out during a game between the sides in March.

Santos will be facing some very familiar faces, with long-time winger Brian “Huevo” Lozano joining the club after a spell with Peñarol. He’ll rejoin the likes of Julio Furch, Beto Ocejo, Martín Nervo, and José Abella, all of whom spent time with Santos before going to Guadalajara.

Both teams have had good results this season, albeit against weak opponents. This game will be a good measuring stick for both teams, since both should be considered serious threats to go deep into the Liguilla.