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Monterrey are third in the 2023 Apertura table after gathering 29 points in 15 games
Santos Laguna are sitting in tenth place in the 2023 Apertura table with 20 points from 15 matches
The clubs last met in the Liga MX Clausura 2023 Playoff quarterfinals earlier this year. Monterrey held the hosts to a goalless draw in the first leg before winning the second 2-0 at home to book their semifinal berth
Our Pick: Monterrey to win
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Monterrey are the overwhelming favorites to clinch a win in this clash against Santos Laguna. It is expected to be a lopsided contest, favoring the hosts as they run riot against the mercurial visitors.
Monterrey will take a lot of positives from the 2-0 away win over Pachuca in their last 2023 Apertura fixture. The visitors converted two of their three shots on target into goals through German Berterame (13’) and Rogelio Funes Mori (27’). Their defensive resilience was also on display as Pachuca controlled most of the possession and created eight shots on target but failed to find the back of the net.
Meanwhile, Santos Laguna will be wary of their formidable opponents but will be banking on their stunning 3-1 win against Toluca in their last match. The hosts finished the match with only 31 percent ball possession, but that was enough to seal a clinical victory.
Felix Torres (35’), Diego Medina (60’), and Juan Brunetta (63’) netted one goal each for Santos, while Toman Belmonte (90+3’) scored the only goal for Toluca.
Monterrey and Santos Laguna have a lot of history between them. The two clubs have faced off 46 times in the Liga MX since 2010. The rivalry has remained neck and neck over the years, with Monterrey winning 17, Santos Laguna clinching 15 wins, and 15 games finishing in a draw.
The two clubs faced off in the Clausura quarterfinals in the 2023 Clausura playoffs. After a 0-0 draw in Santos’ backyard, Monterrey broke the deadlock in the second leg through Rogelio Funes Mori in the third minute and Maximiliano Meza (68’) to clinch a 2-0 aggregate win.
In the regular league season, Mori helped Monterrey take the lead in the 20th minute, but Santos were back on level terms just three minutes later. Mori was sent off just before the break, and minutes later, both teams were down to ten as Lucas Gonzalez was shown a straight red. The result went in favor of the visitors as Harold Preciado converted a 94th-minute penalty.
Monterrey will have an opportunity to break into the top two spots in the 2023 Apertura table. The hosts are tied on points with second-placed Tigres UANL, who have played one extra match. Monterrey will leapfrog their arch-rivals if they win or secure a draw against Santos.
The hosts have won their last two games – beating Necaxa 3-0 and Pachuca 2-0 in quick succession. Keeping clean sheets in both games has also boosted their defensive prowess as the five-time Liga MX champions look to extend their winning streak.
The hosts have a long list of injured players who are set to be available for selection later this month.
The list includes right-backs Edson Gutierrez (hamstring injury) and Erick Aguirre, center-back Hector Moreno, left-winger Jordi Cortizo, center-forward Rodrigo Aguirre, and winger Sergio Canales.
The hosts will expect the talismanic duo of Rogelio Mori and German Berterame to add to their goal-scoring momentum.
Mori has been the most valuable player for Monterrey, scoring six times and assisting two in 13 appearances. At the same time, his Argentine teammate has hit three goals and assisted once in six matches.
Santos Laguna will be desperate to turn things around on the road. The club has returned home with no points from their last four away matches.
The last time the visitors salvaged an away point in an away fixture was in August after a 2-2 draw against Cruz Azul. In six away games this season so far, Santos have lost four, drawn one, and lost one.
The visiting Santos Laguna side will be without the services of their key center back, Matheus Doria.
The Brazilian picked up a foot injury in October and has been sidelined since then. He is, however, expected to be available for selection by the second week of November.
The visitors will bank on the exemplary form of their talismanic striker, Preciado. The Colombian has netted 11 times and assisted one goal in 15 appearances, including three goals from the spot.
He will also be supported by his Argentine teammate Juan Brunetta, who has netted eight times and assisted nine in 15 appearances. Meanwhile, the duo has also found support from center-back Felix Torres in the ongoing season. The intimidating defender has netted four times in 14 appearances and will be crucial in the match along with Duvan Vergara, who has assisted thrice.
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Teams: Monterrey vs Santos Laguna
Location: Estadio BBVA
Time: Wednesday, November 8 at 09:00 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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