Monterrey finished second in the 2022 Apertura league phase and reached the playoff semi-finals before losing to eventual champions Pachuca.
Atletico de San Luis finished 15th in the 2022 Apertura league phase, just one point shy of the final playoff spot
In the 2022 Clausura playoffs, Atletico de San Luis beat Monterrey 3-1 on penalties in the Round of 16
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Looking at the final league standings of the 2022 Apertura season, the scales would tip toward Monterrey. However, the record between these two sides is surprisingly balanced. Including the Copa MX games, the two sides have met each other 20 times. Monterrey has won seven games, while Atletico de San Luis has won six. The other seven encounters have ended in draws.
Monterrey got off to a shaky start this Clausura season as they were defeated in their opening game of the season by CD Guadalajara. However, they bounced back and snatched three points in their second game of the season against Cruz Azul in a five-goal thriller.
Atletico de San Luis have gotten off to a decent start. The side beat Necaxa 3-2 in the opener before they shared the points with CD Guadalajara after a goalless draw. It seems their unbeaten streak will remain intact as the game between Monterrey and Atletico de San Luis is likely to end in a draw.
When the two sides met in the 2022 Apertura season, it was an extremely tightly contested game that was deadlocked till the 83rd minute. That is when Monterrey were awarded a lifeline in the form of a penalty that was converted by Rogelio Funes Mori as Monterrey snatched all three points after 1-0 at the Estadio Alfonso Lastras Ramirez.
This time, the game will be played in Monterrey’s backyard - Estadio BBVA. However, Atletico de San Luis have enjoyed their last two visits to the arena. In the 2022 Clausura season, Atletico de San Luis beat Monterrey 3-1 on penalties in the Round of 16 of the playoffs.
Earlier that season, during the league phase, Atletico de San Luis beat Monterrey 2-0 at the Estadio BBVA.
During the 2022 Apertura season, Monterrey played eight games at home and did not lose a single one. They won five and drew three while scoring 14 goals and conceding five in the process.
In total, Monterrey scored 34 goals in 21 games during their run in the 2022 Apertura season. However, the shaky start to the Clausura season has already handed them their first loss at home in the first game of the new season.
Even though the momentum has been disrupted early on, Monterrey have a squad that is capable of turning things around. However, they will be facing Atletico de San Luis next - a side that has beaten them in their own backyard on the last two visits.
It will be interesting to see how coach Victor Vucetich lines his men up against Atletico de San Luis. Monterrey will have to end their winless home run against Atletico de San Luis in order to make up for their opening-day loss.
Monterrey conceded the fewest goals in the 2022 Apertura season. They only let in 13 goals in 17 games. The defense was doing its job and the attack was clinical. This combination helped Monterrey reach the playoff semis.
This time around, defensive weaknesses have been spotted in the first two games. Monterrey have already conceded three goals in two games and Hector Moreno’s performance in the back four has been subpar.
Despite completing the most passes in the game against CD Guadalajara in the 2023 Clausura opener, defender Hector Moreno was weak with long balls and in aerial duels. The same pattern was on display in the second game as well.
German Berterame came to Monterrey before the start of the 2022 Apertura season. The Argentine striker will face his former club for whom he made almost 100 appearances and scored a little over 30 goals.
The 24-year-old finished as the top-scorer for Monterrey in the 2022 Apertura season with six goals under his belt. In the 2023 Clausura season, Berterame has already scored two goals in as many games. The striker will be eager to add to his tally by scoring against his former club.
In the 2022 Apertura season, Atletico de San Luis missed the playoff spot by just one point. However, it was a disappointing season for coach Andre Jardine and his men, and there were several contributing factors.
Atletico de San Luis scored just 15 goals in 17 games. Out of that, only seven goals came from open play. Atletico de San Luis were also one of the few teams in Liga MX whose away record was better than the one at home.
They played nine games at home and lost five with a goal difference of -5. Away from home, they played eight games and lost just two. They won two home games and two away games all season, but they picked up more points on the road.
After the departure of the leading goal-scorer Abel Hernandez, the other attackers have taken over, but it will be interesting to see how consistent they can be throughout the rest of the season and then the playoffs if Atletico de San Luis make it.
Atletico de San Luis will certainly miss their alpha striker Abel Hernandez this season. The Uruguayan joined Club Atletico Penarol just before the commencement of the 2023 Clausura season.
Out of the 15 goals scored by Atletico de San Luis in the 2022 Apertura season, eight goals were scored by Hernandez. Another shocking fact is that no other player at the club scored more than one goal during the entire last Apertura season.
The club’s reliance on Hernandez was evident last season, but this season the other attackers have stepped up. Juan Sanabria, Sabin Merino, and new signing Leo got on the scoresheet when Atletico de San Luis beat Necaxa in their opening 2023 Clausura encounter.
After the departure of Hernandez, Atletico de San Luis signed former Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Leo on a free transfer. Leo did not make an appearance for Wolves but enjoyed a successful spell with Grasshopper scoring over 20 goals in about 60 games over two seasons.
On his full debut for Atletico de San Luis, Leo scored in the 67th minute against Necaxa. The club will be relying on the 28-year-old in a way they relied on Hernandez. Leo is off to a good start but did fire a blank in the second game that ended 0-0 against CD Guadalajara.
Juan Sanabria was sent-off in that game and will miss the clash with Monterrey, making life even more difficult for Atletico de San Luis.
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Teams: Monterrey vs San Luis
Location: Estadio BBVA
Time: Saturday, January 21 at 6:06 pm ET onwards
How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
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Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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