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Atletico de San Luis edged past Champions League winners Club Leon in the first-ever play-in encounter to become the seventh seed in the Apertura 2023 playoffs
Monterrey CF finished second in the regular season and will be back on the pitch after almost three weeks, eager to extend their unbeaten streak to five games
When these two sides met in the regular Liga MX season in July, the match ended in a 1-1 draw at Estadio Alfonso Lastras Ramirez
Our Pick: Scoring Draw
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The crucial win in the play-in encounter against Club Leon ended a five-game winless run for the former Apertura 2023 league leaders San Luis. During that run, the club lost against FC Juarez, Toluca, Club America, and Santos Laguna and held Tigres UANL to a draw.
Since Monterrey secured comfortable qualification for the playoffs, they dodged the play-in encounters. The regular season ended with a goalless draw against Queretaro FC after a string of comfortable wins over Necaxa, Pachuca, and Santos Laguna.
In this two-legged playoff quarterfinal encounter, Monterrey are firm favorites. However, the away leg could be tricky for the five-time Liga MX winners. San Luis may not be strong enough to defeat the former champions but might be able to get a draw before the second leg.
Since 2010, these two clubs have clashed on 16 occasions in Liga MX. Monterrey have a slightly better record in this encounter with six wins, while San Luis have emerged victorious in four matches. The other six games have ended in draws.
Rogelio Funes Mori’s 39th-minute strike gave Monterrey the lead when they visited San Luis in July this year. That goal was canceled out by Angel Zaldivar’s 48th-minute penalty. The hosts had a chance to turn the game on its head but Zaldivar missed from the spot in the 67th minute.
These two clubs also clashed in the Clausura 2022 playoffs. Michell Rodriguez scored a 96th-minute equalizer for Monterrey and took the game to penalties. However, his side missed three out of four kicks from the spot, handing San Luis a 3-1 win.
In the current Liga MX roster comprising 18 football clubs, 14 teams have won the Liga MX title at least once in their history. The other four teams are yet to get off the mark and that list also includes the name of San Luis.
Earlier this season, a set of good results hoisted them to the summit of the league before they eventually tumbled down. If San Luis intend to pull off an upset in this fixture against Monterrey, they will have to rediscover their lost form.
In the play-in encounter against Club Leon, striker Leo failed to find the back of the net yet again, extending his drought to six games.
Leo’s compatriot, Vitinho, is the club’s leading goalscorer with six goals in 17 matches. However, even Vitinho has scored only once in the last five matches.
Full-backs Ricardo Chavez and Juan Sanabria will play a vital role against Monterrey in the next match as they assist the wingers in attack and drop back quickly to defend.
In the last match, Sanabria’s brilliant low cross was inadvertently tucked into the back of the net by Leon’s William Tesillo to give San Luis the lead.
A long hiatus has allowed Monterrey to gather themselves and follow an effective tactic to make the perfect impact on the Apertura 2023 playoffs this season. The club is desperate to add a sixth Liga MX title to their trophy cabinet.
Despite ending the regular season with a goalless draw against a struggling Queretaro FC side, morale will be high for the Apertura 2019 winners, who finished second on the table in the regular season in the current Apertura campaign.
After conceding 15 goals in 17 regular season matches, Monterrey has the second-best defense, behind Club America.
The club has kept seven clean sheets this season, of which four have come in their last four regular season matches. Monterrey have also scored eight goals in those four games.
In nine away matches in the regular season in the 2023 Apertura campaign, Monterrey have picked up 15 points. The team has won four games, drawn three, and lost just two matches. The two defeats came against Toluca and arch-rivals and defending champions Tigres UANL.
Apart from those two setbacks, Monterrey have been a tough nut to crack for many hosts, including names like Chivas Guadalajara, Pumas UNAM, and Pachuca.
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Teams: Atletico de San Luis vs. Monterrey CF
Location: Estadio Alfonso Lastras Ramirez
Time: Wednesday, November 29 at 9:10 pm ET
How to Watch: Univision, Telemundo, Fox Sports, ESPN, Vix and Sling TV
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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