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
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.
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.”
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.