Santos Laguna vs. Cruz Azul Prediction: Cruz Azul Getting Back in Shape

Written by: Nikhil Kalro
Published March 8, 2024
6 min read
  • Santos Laguna ended their four-game losing streak in the Clausura 2024 season with back-to-back wins over Mazatlan and Queretaro 

  • Cruz Azul are level on points with league leaders Monterrey after they beat Chivas Guadalajara 3-0 in their last match

  • When these two clubs met last season, they shared the points after an entertaining four-goal thriller at Estadio Azteca

Santos Laguna vs. Cruz Azul Odds

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Game result Odds
Santos Laguna +225
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Draw +270
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Cruz Azul +100
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Santos Laguna vs. Cruz Azul Pick

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Santos Laguna vs Cruz Azul Prediction

Santos Laguna vs. Cruz Azul Predictions

Santos Laguna have only won three of their ten Liga MX matches this season. Two of those wins have come in the last two fixtures, and the club is hoping for a resurgence that could guide them towards the top half of the table and help them clinch a play-in spot. 

Bruno Amione scored the only goal of the match against Mazatlan before Harold Preciado scored the only goal of the match against Queretaro, giving Santos two back-to-back wins and cleansheets. However, maintaining the winning momentum will be critical, and it will be a challenging task against a team like Cruz Azul.

Cruz Azul’s remarkable resurgence makes the task challenging. What Santos dream of is what the nine-time Liga MX champions have already achieved this season. The club has won seven of their ten league games, drawing one and losing two. Club America ended Cruz Azul’s six-game winning streak two weeks ago, but the club did not waste time and bounced right back with a splendid 3-0 win over Chivas last weekend. Lorenzo Faravelli got on the scoresheet before Uriel Antuna bagged a brace.

The home advantage is with Santos Laguna, but that does not affect the prediction for this match because the hosts have a win rate of 50 percent at Estadio Corona. Cruz Azul have played well on the road so far and could scrape past a tricky Santos side. The margins could be thin, but the visitors will not want to drop points, allowing Monterrey comfort at the top of the league.

Previous Meetings

Across all competitions, these two clubs have met 34 times since 2010. Cruz Azul have the better record, with 16 wins in their kitty, while Santos have won 12 encounters. The remaining six fixtures have ended in a draw, and one of them came last season when Santos held the nine-time Liga MX champions to a 2-2 draw at Estadio Azteca.

Diber Cambindo and Antuna were on the scoresheet for the hosts, while a Preciado brace helped Santos snatch a point. The game was quite entertaining with end-to-end football. An aggregate of 36 shots were registered during the match. Cruz Azul kept nine out of 18 on target, while Santos kept seven out of 17 on target.

The last time Santos hosted Cruz Azul in Liga MX was during the Apertura 2022 season. Goals from Javier Correa, Hugo Rodrigez, Eduardo Aguirre, and Carlos Orrantia helped the hosts register a stellar 4-0 win over the nine-time league winners. Angel Romero had a chance to snatch a consolation goal, but he missed from the spot in the 87th minute.

Santos Laguna Need to Score More Goals  

The goalscoring average of Santos Laguna has plummeted below one per match and is now the 16th lowest in the league. The club has scored just eight goals in ten games and fired blanks in three consecutive games before finally scoring in the last two matches.

The offense looks bleak and may not be strong enough to penetrate the Cruz Azul defense that recently kept Chivas’ attack at bay and conceded just one goal against Club America. Santos will need something out of the top drawer to get a goal against Cruz Azul

Other Attackers Need to Share the Burden With Preciado  

Preciado has scored four goals in six appearances this season in the league. It is a stunning record for the individual, but none of his teammates have chipped in with more than one goal.

Jesus Ocejo partnered with Preciado in the final third. The 25-year-old has made six appearances this season and is yet to get off the mark. Ocejo needs to put his goalscoring boots on and support his partner before he burns out.

The Hosts Have Fired the Least Shots on Target  

Santos have massive problems in the final third. Their over-reliance on Preciado has brought their goalscoring average down to below one. To make matters worse, the hosts have the lowest shots-on-target-per-match ratio in the league.

FC Juarez, who are rooted to the bottom of the table, have put more shots at goal than Santos. This is a concerning stat for the hosts and must be rectified immediately.

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Cruz Azul Have Replaced Confusion With Cohesion   

After horrendous performances over the last few seasons, Cruz Azul are back to playing their best football. The club struggled to score goals and nab wins in recent seasons, but they now look like a force to reckon with.

Playoff qualification is in sight of the new man in charge – Martin Anselmi. So far, the Argentine coach has done well and the players are gelling well on the pitch. The momentum is with Cruz Azul and they must not lose it in a winnable game like the next one. 

Attacking Duo Expected to Work Their Magic Against Santos  

Antuna has scored five goals and nabbed two assists in ten appearances, while Angel Sepulveda has failed to score in the last six but still has five goal contributions in ten games.

The two players have linked up well in the final third for Cruz Azul and have wreaked havoc in the opposition penalty area. More of the same will be expected against Santos.

Striker Injured But the Absence Is Not Making a Huge Impact

After scoring two goals in six games, Gabriel Fernandez suffered a knee injury last month that ruled him out for the season. The club was excited to sign the promising striker from Pumas this season but will not see him on the pitch until next season.

However, Antuna and Sepulveda are holding the fort down with the help of their teammates, and the absence of Fernandez is not being felt on a huge scale.

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How to Watch Santos Laguna vs. Cruz Azul

  • Teams: Santos Laguna vs Cruz Azul

  • Location: Estadio Corona

  • Time: Saturday, March 9 at 8:00 pm ET

  • How to Watch: Univision, Telemundo, Fox Sports, ESPN, Vix and Sling TV

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Nikhil Kalro

Sports Betting Analyst

Expertise:
LIGA MX
ESPORTS
MLS
Betting Picks
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.
Nationality: American
Education: N/A
Favourite Sportsbook: BetMGM Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: FanDuel Casino
Experience:
9 years
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