Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente
Date: Saturday, January 8th
Time: 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 10:00 p.m. Central, 9:00 p.m. local, 8:00 p.m. Pacific, 3:00 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Ismael Rosario López Peñuelas, AR1: Jorge Antonio Sánchez Espinoza, AR2: Michel Caballero Galicia, 4TH: Abraham De Jesús Quirarte Contreras, VAR: Oscar Mejía García, AVAR: Diana Stephanía Pérez Borja
Streaming: ViX (Subscription possibly required)
All-time record: Santos holds the slight edge over Tijuana, winning nine games to Xolos’ seven, with eight draws in Liga MX play. The last time the clubs met, Santos got a 3-2 home win back in March thanks to a brace from Javier Correa and a game winner from Matheus Dória, while Tijuana’s goals came from Alexis Canelo and Lucas Rodríguez.
Usually a mid-week match puts a team at a disadvantage, however this may be an advantage for Santos as they host Tijuana tonight at TSM. Suffering a 5-2 defeat against former coach Eduardo Fentanes to give Necaxa their first win in 191 days, Santos’ match last weekend against Monterrey was postponed due to a concert, which gives the team extra time to work on what went so wrong as well as to rest up. A bright spot was a brace from Harold Preciado, who sits tied for the leading goalscorer with seven goals on the season.
Despite not playing last weekend, Santos enters the match in 13th place, just a point out of the repechaje and four behind fourth place Juárez. A good performance against Xolos could have them right back in the thick of things.
Xolos however are on a decent run of form. They’ve won three of their last four, with a 1-0 loss to rival León the only blemish during that period. Miguel “Piojo” Herrera’s squad also blew out Juárez 5-1 at home on Friday thanks to a brace by Carlos González and goals from Silvio Martínez, Lucas Cavallini, and Fernando Madrigal. González is tied with Preciado for the league lead in goals scored, however he will miss the match against Santos having picked up a red card in the 77th minute of the loss.
Both of these teams have seen their fortunes turn a bit lately, however a win here could shift the narrative for both teams. For Santos, it could confirm that the losses to Necaxa and Puebla were an anomaly and they’re a force to be reckoned with on their way to the playoffs. Xolos meanwhile can shed the aura of doubt that they got lucky over their recent run, proving that they’re the ones who will be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs.