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Match preview: Guadalajara vs. Santos Laguna

Chivas looks to extend their unbeaten streak to six as they host Santos.

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Fireworks erupt from the roof of Akron Stadium before the 3rd round match between Chivas and Toluca as part of the Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX at Akron Stadium on January 21, 2023 in Zapopan, Mexico. Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

Game: Club Deportivo Guadalajara vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.

Date: Saturday, March 4th

Time: 10:05 p.m. Eastern, 9:05 p.m. Central, 7:05 p.m. Pacific, 2:05 a.m. UTC

Venue: Estadio Akron (Zapopan, Jal.)

Referees: REF: Victor Alfonso Caceres Hernandez, AR1: Marco Antonio Bisguerra Mendiola, AR2: Jose De Jesus Baños Caballero, 4TH: Erick Yair Miranda Galindo, VAR: Eduardo Galvan Basulto, AVAR: Yonatan Peinado Aguirre

Television: United States - UNIVERSO; Mexico - Sky HD

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), Peacock (Subscription)

All-time record: Santos holds the all-time record across all competitions, with 33 wins to Chivas’ 24 while the clubs have drawn 24 times. Strictly in Liga MX play, Santos holds a 28-23 advantage while the clubs have drawn 23. Santos leads 4-1 in Copa MX play, and in the old Interliga Santos won one in 2004 and the sides drew one back in 2005. In more recent history, the clubs played to a 1-1 tie in Torreón back on July 16, 2022 with goals from Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre and Jesús González. Their last match in Guadalajara ended in a 1-0 win for Chivas on a J.J. Macias goal in the 60th minute of play.

Juan Brunetta (L) of Santos celebrates with Harold Preciado (R) after scoring the team’s second goal during the 9th round match between Santos Laguna and Puebla as part of the Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX at Corona Stadium on February 26, 2023 in Torreon, Mexico.
Juan Brunetta (4) and Harold Preciado (5) have contributed 9 of Santos’ 14 goals this season.
Photo by Armando Marin/Jam Media/Getty Images

Needing a win in their last outing, Santos came through, dispatching Puebla 3-2. The win ended a five match winless streak and also washed out the taste of a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Toluca days prior. With that weight removed, Santos now heads to Guadalajara to face Chivas, who haven’t lost in their last six matches.

Santos played fantastic ball for the first 75 minutes of the match, but the last 15 were an adventure. The allowed two goals from Puebla but managed to hold on, which while perhaps frustrating is a sign that they are able to close out games. There are no style points for winning, after all.

Santos will be without assistant coach Hugo Colace, who was sent off after an altercation with Puebla head coach Eduardo Arce. The squad however should have just about everyone else available for selection, including Santiago Muñoz, who has played in 24 minutes in two games since returning from Newcastle United in England. It will be interesting to see what his role is with the squad as he becomes more match ready, as Harold Preciado has five goals in nine games and Eduardo “Mudo” Aguirre out as the only Santos injury leaving Muñoz plenty of opportunities to get minutes as a backup or in a two forward set, should head coach Eduardo Fentanes decide to employ it instead of the one striker setup he favors.

Veljko Paunović, coach of Chivas looks on prior the 6th round match between Pachuca and Chivas as part of the Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX at Hidalgo Stadium on February 11, 2023 in Pachuca, Mexico.
Veljko Paunović has Chivas sitting four points out of first place heading into Week 10.
Photo by Agustin Cuevas/Getty Images

Chivas meanwhile returns home after beating Tigres at El Volcán 2-1. While Víctor Guzmán leads the squad with four goals, it was Gilberto Sepúlveda and Ronaldo Cisneros’ first goals of the season that propelled them to the win. Chivas has scored by committee this season, with only Guzmán and Carlos Cisneros scoring more than one goal so far this season.

Chivas’ doesn’t score a ton of goals; their twelve have them ranked eighth in the league heading into the week. Their defense however is their strength, allowing just eight goals and tying them with Monterrey for fourth in the league. Head coach Veljko Paunović has Chivas playing good soccer, their eighteen points just four behind súperlider Monterrey.

Chivas has been in fantastic form, however despite Santos’ historic struggles on the road they have some momentum of their own and should not be overlooked. Still, Chivas has the hot hand and home field advantage and should be considered favorites.