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Santos Laguna clinched ninth place in the Apertura 2023 table after a much-needed 2-0 win against San Luis in the last league game
Mazatlan shocked Toluca 1-0 in the last league-stage match to nab the last playoff qualifying spot
When these two sides met in the league phase earlier this season, Mazatlan secured a convincing 3-1 win at home
Our Pick: Santos Laguna to win..
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Santos Laguna are the outright favorites to win their playoff contest against Mazatlan. However, the visitors will be looking to throw everything and the kitchen sink into the contest, as the losers will face immediate elimination from the knockout competition.
Santos Laguna will be riding high on confidence after clinching a 2-0 win away against San Luis in their last Liga MX Apertura fixture. Santos controlled only 32 percent of the possession but registered a better conversion rate to seal the victory. Felix Torres (10’) and Pedro Sanchez (12’) netted one goal each to clinch victory in a match where San Luis dominated most of the possession.
Meanwhile, Mazatlan will be wary of their opponents but bank on the positives gained from their 1-0 win at home against Toluca in their last Liga MX Apertura fixture. Jefferson Intriago (68’) netted the winner for the hosts, who had 40 percent possession in the match but created more chances on goal.
Santos Laguna and Mazatlan have faced off nine times in the Liga MX since their first meeting in November 2020. Santos has the upper hand in the contest with five wins. Mazatlan has won two, and one match ended in a draw.
In their last meeting in the Apertura 2023 league campaign, hosts Mazatlan clinched a 3-1 victory earlier in November. Mazatlan were in control of the ball possession as Facundo Almada (5’), Luis Amarilla (45+3’), and Josue Colman (83’) netted one goal each for Mazatlan, while Harold Precaido (22’) scored the lone goal for Santos.
The visitors finished with ten men after Pedro Aquino was dismissed around the hour-mark. Santos have clinched three wins and two draws from their last five fixtures at home, while Mazatlan have recorded two wins and three losses in their last five away matches.
Santos Laguna will look to extend their two-match unbeaten record at home. The club has not lost a match at home since their 0-2 loss against Leon in October.
Since then, Santos has clinched a thumping 5-1 victory over Juarez and a 3-1 win against Toluca. The club has also looked clinical with finishing, as they have netted eight goals in their last two home matches.
The hosts will likely be without the services of center-backs Hugo Rodriguez and Matheus Doria for the upcoming fixture.
Rodriguez sustained a knee injury earlier in November and is sidelined until December. Doria, recovering from a foot injury he incurred in October, is doubtful for the match. The hosts will likely field an unchanged XI from their last fixture.
The hosts will expect their talismanic duo of Harold Peciado and Juan Brunetta to display their creativity in front of the goal.
Preciado has been the leading goal scorer for Santos, with 11 goals. He also has one assist to his name, while Brunetta has 11 assists to his name. Meanwhile, Ecuadorian defender Felix Torres will be a vital cog in the backline. He has shown his ability to score goals by netting five times in the ongoing season. The trio will be crucial for their team’s victory at home.
Mazatlan will be wary of their formidable opponents. But will take a lot of inspiration from their fine run away from home.
The visitors won two consecutive away matches, registering 3-1 victories over Guadalajara and Atlas in September and October, respectively, before losing to Necaxa in their last away fixture.
Mazatlan will be without the services of their crucial winger, Eduard Bello, in the upcoming fixture. The Venezuelan netted two goals in 14 appearances before picking up a muscle injury in the first week of November.
Their injury list also includes talismanic center forward Ake Loba, center back Lucas Merolla, midfielder Nicolas Benedetti and central midfielder Roberto Meraz.
Luis Amrarilla and Josue Colman will be looking to step up in the crucial contest without their leading goal scorer, Ake Loba.
The Paraguayan forward is the second-highest goal scorer for Mazatlan. He has scored four times for Mazatlan and will be looking to bring his goal-scoring boots to the match, while his national compatriot, Colman, has assisted seven times. Colman has also netted three times and is the third-highest goal-scorer for the club.
Yoel Barcenas will also support the duo. The Panamanian forward has netted once while assisting thrice in the ongoing season. Barcenas will likely be introduced as a substitute after the second half in search of a winner or to add to the lead.
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Teams: Santos Laguna vs. Mazatlan
Location: Estadio Corona
Time: Thursday, November 23 at 10:10 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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