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Match preview: Atlético San Luis vs. Santos Laguna

Santos has one shot to make the postseason as they head to San Luis Potosí to face Atlético San Luis.

SEPTEMBER 12: General view prior to the 10th round match between Atletico San Luis and America as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX Femenil at Estadio Alfonso Lastras on September 12, 2023 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Photo by Ricardo Hernandez/Jam Media/Getty Images

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

Date: Saturday, November 11th

Time: 6:00 p.m. Eastern, 5:00 p.m. Central (local), 3:00 p.m. Pacific, 11:00 p.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Alfonso Lastras (San Luis Potosí, S.L.P.)

Referees: REF: Marco Antonio Ortiz Nava, AR1: Karen Janett Díaz Medina, AR2: Enrique Martínez Sandoval, 4TH: Aldo Ballesteros Barba, VAR: Daniel Quintero Huitrón, AVAR: Diana Stephanía Pérez Borja

Television: United States - FOX Sports 2, FOX Deportes Network, TUDN, Univision, UniMás, Telemundo; Mexico - ESPN

Streaming: ViX (Subscription)

All-time record: This will be the thirteenth time San Luis and Santos have met, with Santos leading the series with six wins to Atleti’s two, with the clubs splitting four draws. Of those, each team has a win and two draws in Copa MX play, with the rest happening in Liga MX. In their last match back in February, the clubs drew 1-1 in San Luis Potosí thanks to goals from Mateo Klimowicz and Lucas González.

Juan Brunetta of Santos celebrates after scoring the team’s third goal during the 16th round match between Santos Laguna and Toluca as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on November 5, 2023 in Torreon, Mexico.
Juan Brunetta returns to the lineup after missing the midweek match due to yellow card accumulation.
Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

It’s quite simple for Santos: win, and they’re in.

Coming into the final week of the 2023 Apertura, Santos sits in the tenth and final playoff spot on points alone. A win on the road against San Luis would cement their place. A draw or a loss and they’re out.

The good news for Santos is that they’ve historically been good against San Luis, picking up two wins in four Liga MX games there. They also have Harold Preciado, who leads the league with 11 goals, and will be getting Juan Brunetta back from yellow card suspension. The pairing form one of the more formidable scoring threat duos in the league, and having Brunetta back and rested may be the key.

Vitor Ferreira of San Luis celebrates with teammates after scoring the team’s first goal during the 16th round match between Tigres UANL and Atletico San Luis as part of the Torneo Apertura 2023 Liga MX at Universitario Stadium on November 04, 2023 in Monterrey, Mexico.
Vitor Ferreira is one of twelve San Luis players to hit the back of the net this season.
Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

The bad news for Santos however is that this isn’t the San Luis of old. This San Luis is a highly competent squad with a potent offense. Their 31 goals scored is behind only América and Tigres, and their 24 goals conceded sits them in the top half of the league on the defensive side of the ball. While Vitor Ferreira is their leading goal scorer with six, both Leonardo Bonatini and Unai Bilbao have five, with twelve San Luis players in total scoring this season.

San Luis will however be without Mateo Kilmowicz, who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season and is suspended for the match. Sébastien Salles-Lamonge replaced Klimowicz in their 2-2 draw with Tigres last weekend, and the former Rennes and Bastia attacking midfielder may get the nod against Santos.

This is the biggest test Pablo Repetto has faced during his tenure at Santos, a club that expects to make the playoffs and compete every season. The last time Santos missed the playoffs was under Repetto’s predecessor Eduardo Fentanes, who missed the 2022 Clausura after taking over partway through the season for Pedro Caixinha. He’ll need to get the most from his squad in a tough match, or it could be a long offseason for him and Santos.