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Odds taken from Betway.
Our Picks: Santos Laguna to win.
Santos Laguna are the favorites to win the contest at home. However, it is expected that the better-placed Club Tijuana will give a close fight to Santos Laguna in the match.
The hosts will look to bounce back to winning ways after their 2-5 loss to Necaxa in their last home fixture. Laguna dominated the possession in the match but were not clinical in their finishing.
Necaxa midfielder Alejandro Andrade (32’,52’) netted a brace, while Ricardo Monreal (49’), Fernando Juarez (64’) and Alexis Lopez (67’) scored one goal each to stamp their authority on the match. However, Laguna’s star forward Harold Preciado (70’,83’) completed a late brace after converting a spot kick to reduce the deficit for the hosts.
Meanwhile, Club Tijuana lost by a slender margin to Leon in their last away fixture. Tijuana hardly had a sight of the goal with only one shot on target with their opponent making the most of their possession and netting the lone goal through Angel Mena (63’) in the second half.
Santos Laguna and Club Tijuana have shared a rivalry since 2011. The clubs have faced off 24 times with Laguna edging ahead by nine wins in comparison to the seven registered by Tijuana. The clubs have played out eight draws.
In their previous meeting, Laguna head coach Eduardo Fentanes and Tijuana’s Miguel Herrera opted for a 4-4-2 formation for their respective clubs. Santos kept most part of the possession and created bigger chances to clinch victory by a slender 3-2 margin.
Argentine center forward Javier Correa (45’,62’) netted a brace for Santos while Brazilian center back Matheus Doria (74’) scored the winner for the hosts. Tijuana found the back of the net twice through Alexis Canelo (45+4’) and Lucas Rodriguez (60’).
Santos will look to improve their record at home after registering two wins, one draw, and two losses at home in the last five fixtures while Tijuana will look to find a win after registering one win and three losses in their last four away matches.
Santos Laguna will expect their talismanic forward Preciado to bring his scoring boots to the match. He has marked his presence in the new season with three goals from seven matches.
Meanwhile, Juan Brunetta and Duvan Vergara have been the most valuable players in the squad. Brunetta has scored four times and assisted as many while Duvan Vergara has netted once and assisted twice.
It is expected that Laguna will continue to remain without the services of their goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo in the upcoming match.
The Mexican is still to recover to full fitness after sustaining a shoulder injury and getting sidelined since June 15. However, Acevedo is expected to return to action this month.
Under coach Fentanes, Laguna will play attacking football with adventurous runs from the wing-backs.
The club’s philosophy believes in playing high-intensity pressing, fast and direct attack, with a fluid and attacking midfield.
The visiting Club Tijuana side will be desperate for a win but will miss their star forward Carlos Gonzalez for the upcoming match. He will be serving his suspension after being sent off with a red card in the previous match. The Paraguayan has netted 14 times in as many matches across all competitions for the club this season and has been the most valuable player for the club. Tijuana will have their task cut out without his services.
The 30-year-old had netted seven times and assisted once in nine matches of the Apertura season. The club will, meanwhile, continue to miss their winger Carlos Valenzuela who has been out of action since April, this year, due to a knee injury.
In the absence of Gonzalez, Mexican full-back Diego Barbosa will be the key for the visitors to produce a match-winning performance. He has already delivered two player-of-the-match performances this season and has one assist in nine matches to his name.
However, the goal-scoring onus will shift towards Fernando Madrigal, who has netted thrice this season. His compatriots Alejandro Martinez and Lucas Cavallini have netted one goal each.
Tijuana coach Herrera knows how to adapt to the situation. He will, however, look to utilize his defensive approach against more fluid attacking counterparts in the upcoming match.
The visitors will also look to break on their brilliant counter-attacking play with an exciting match expected between the two sides.
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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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