Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Fútbol Club Juárez
Date: Sunday, October 29th
Time: 9:05 p.m. Eastern, 8:05 p.m. Central, 7:05 p.m. local, 6:05 p.m. Pacific, 1:05 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Diego Montaño Robles, AR1: Leonardo Javier Castillo Rodríguez, AR2: Erick Durón Martínez, 4TH: Gustavo Padilla Aguirre, VAR: Jesus Rafael Lopez Valle, AVAR: Manuel Alfonso Martínez Sánchez
All-time record: Santos has lost to FC Juárez just once, in their last match where Juárez won 3-1 thanks to a brace from Gabriel Fernández and a goal from Tomas Molina, while Harold Preciado got the lone goal for Santos back in February. Santos however has won seven games against Juárez and has drawn four across all competitions. In their last match in Torreón, Santos beat Juárez 2-0 on September 18, 2022 in Torreón thanks to goals from Harold Preciado and Javier Correa.
After a hard fought loss against América at Estadio Azteca, Santos returns home to face regional rivals Juárez with three massive points on the line. Santos enters the week with just 14 points, on the outside looking in with regards to the upcoming repechaje. At 18 points, Juárez meanwhile has their sights set on classifying straight to the Liguilla.
Santos fans however have several reasons for optimism however. Harold Preciado is tied with Carlos González for the league’s leading goal scorer with nine on the season, and the club saw Carlos Acevedo return to goal for the first time since last season when he suffered an injury before the Gold Cup tournament. They’ll also get Félix Torres back, as he was suspended after picking up a red card in Santos’ prior game against León.
Santos will need Acevedo back in goal and Torres playing his best, as defense has been a sore spot for the team this season. Their 26 goals conceded is tied with Cruz Azul for the most of any team entering the week, although their 20 goals scored is sixth best. If they can staunch the bleeding at the back, they could be a formidable opponent down the stretch.
Juárez meanwhile enters with 22 goals scored and 22 goals conceded, tying them with Pumas for fourth best in goals scored and leaving them in the middle of the pack in goals conceded. At 36 years of age, Avilés Hurtado is having a bit of a career renaissance, with his six goals this season the most he’s scored since he bagged eleven during the 2017 Apertura with Monterrey.
While Juárez got out to a hot start, they have cooled considerably. Prior to their 3-2 win over San Luis last week, Juárez had lost four straight games by a combined score of 11-3. They also haven’t won on the road since July 16 in a 4-2 win at Toluca, which bodes well for Santos and their historic home-field advantage.
Both teams really need three points out of this one. Santos needs it in order to keep their post-season hopes alive, while Juárez needs to stabilize their season a bit and prove their win last week wasn’t a fluke. With just four weeks left in the season, time is on no one’s side.