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Match preview: Santos Laguna vs. FC Juárez

In need of points with just four weeks until the Liguilla, Santos hosts Juárez as they try to get back into the repechaje zone.

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General view of Corona Stadium prior the 12th round match between Santos Laguna and Leon as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on October 8, 2023 in Torreon, Mexico. Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

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

Television: United States - None; Mexico - None

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), Sling TV (Subscription), ViX (Subscription), (Authentication required), FOXSportsGO, FOX Sports App

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.

Carlos Acevedo (L) of Santos deflect the ball during the 13th round match between America and Santos Laguna as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Azteca Stadium on October 21, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Carlos Acevedo returned to goal for the first time since suffering an injury prior to the Gold Cup.
Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

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.

Aviles Hurtado of Juarez looks on during the 12th round match between Monterrey and FC Juarez as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at BBVA Stadium on October 7, 2023 in Monterrey, Mexico.     Mark image as sensitive
36-year-old Avliés Hurtado is having his best season since 2017, netting eight goals so far with Los Bravos.
Photo by Alfredo Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

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.