Game: Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. vs. Deportivo Toluca Fútbol Club S.A. de C.V.
Date: Sunday, November 5th
Time: 7:10 p.m. Eastern, 6:10 p.m. Central, 4:10 p.m. Pacific, 12:10 a.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Corona TSM (Torreón, Coah.)
Referees: REF: Víctor Alfonso Cáceres Hernández, AR1: Christian Kiabek Espinosa Zavala, AR2: Enedina Caudillo Gómez, 4TH: Orlando Delgadillo Franco, VAR: Jorge Abraham Camacho Peregrina, AVAR: Michel Caballero Galicia
All-time record: Toluca holds the all time record across all competitions, winning 37 games to Santos’ 29, with 24 draws between the clubs. The clubs have only met outside of Liga MX on three occasions, with Santos winning their meeting in the 2003-04 Interliga 2-0, Santos beating Toluca 2-1 and Toluca beating Santos 2-0 in the 2018 Copa MX Apertura tournament. The last time the clubs met, Toluca beat Santos 5-0 in Torreón back in February thanks to braces from Brian García and Leo Fernández and a goal from Marcel Ruiz.
After a tough loss on the road on Wednesday, Santos returns home to host Toluca. Los Guerreros will be without midfielder Pedro Aquino, who picked up a red card in the 58th minute of the match against Mazatlán. Santos desperately needs points: with just three matches left on the calendar, they’ve only got 17 points and are in the thick of the battle to make the repechaje.
The good news for Santos is that they are returning to Territorio Santos Modelo, where they historically have had a solid advantage. This season however they’ve won four and lost three, and the last time they hosted Toluca they were blown out 5-0.
Toluca meanwhile comes in on the heels of a 1-0 home loss to Puebla on Halloween. Like Santos they’ll be without one of their key midfielders, with Claudio Baeza missing the match due to yellow card accumulation. Toluca’s position is however better than Santos’, as Los Diablos Rojos have 21 points and are all but assured of a spot in the repechaje.
Toluca has done rather well this season thanks to a rather stingy defense that has only allowed 15 goals. While their offense isn’t as robust as that of some other teams, their 22 goals scored means they’re on the right side of the goal differential spectrum. Goalkeeper Tiago Volpi is Toluca’s co-leading scorer, converting four penalties to match Juan Pablo Domínguez’ total on the season.
It should be interesting to see how both teams adjust to missing key pieces of their midfield. Both teams will have to also combat the fatigue of traveling from a midweek game to play, These are however the sorts of games that can define a team’s season; when a team can overcome adversity, they realize that they’ve always got a shot no matter what.