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Santos Laguna lost to Atlas FC in their last Clausura 2024 encounter and have registered just one win in five games so far
Tigres UANL’s unbeaten run in the league is still alive after they were held to a draw by Pumas UNAM in the last match
In the Apertura 2023 season, Tigres UANL hosted Santos Laguna, and the hosts secured all three points after a five-goal thriller
Odds taken from BetMGM Sportsbook. Bet $5, get $158 in Bonus Bets with our code WSNMGM.
Our Pick: Tigres UANL to win.
Santos were close to getting the perfect start in the current Clausura campaign but had to settle for a stalemate on the road against Chivas Guadalajara after the hosts scored a 99th-minute equalizer. Back-to-back defeats against Monterrey and Club Leon followed the dispiriting draw. Santos’ first win of the season came in their fourth match, which came at home against Puebla, during which the hosts also nabbed a cleansheet. However, Santos could not maintain the momentum and lost in their previous league encounter against Atlas FC.
Meanwhile, starting the new season on the front foot was crucial for Tigres after losing the Apertura 2023 playoff final. That is precisely what the Clausura 2023 champions did as they registered three consecutive wins over Club Leon, Chivas Guadalajara, and Atletico de San Luis. The short winning run came to an unexpected end against bottom-dwellers Queretaro FC, who held Tigres to a 1-1 draw at home. In the last match, Pumas UNAM handed Tigres a second stalemate on the trot on Tigres’ turf.
Despite being the team with a home advantage in this match, Santos will be the underdogs. Tigres will be one of the toughest teams to beat in Liga MX this season. While the possibility of a scoring draw is also high, the visitors are favorites to edge past Santos and add three points to their tally.
These two clubs have entertained the spectators with many spectacular matches in the past. Across all competitions since 2010, Tigres and Santos have locked horns on 42 occasions. Tigres have won 16 times, while Santos have emerged victorious on 12 occasions. The other 14 encounters have ended in draws.
Last season, when these two teams clashed at Estadio Universitario de Nuevo Leon, they were holding each other to a 2-2 draw till the 90th minute before Juan Pablo Vigon popped up with a winning goal at the death and gave the hosts all three points.
Things did not go well for Santos when they played hosts to Tigres last time because the match ended 3-0 in favor of the visitors. Diego Reyes, Andre-Pierre Gignac, and Luis Quinones were on the scoresheet in that match in the Clausura 2023 season.
Santos is one of the most mercurial teams in the Mexican top division. The club has stunned multiple title contenders on numerous occasions in recent seasons. However, the departure of efficient players has hurt the club’s progress.
Meanwhile, two of those players have coincidentally joined the same club, and that club will be Santos’ next opponent. Realizing their squad strength is not as good as Tigres’, coach Pablo Repetto could make his team play for a draw and try to take a point instead of nothing.
Fernando Gorriaran and Juan Brunetta are expected to start for Tigres and play on familiar territory against their former club. The former left Santos almost a year ago, but the latter will face Santos for the first time.
While Gorriaran has not registered any assists or scored any goals so far, Brunetta has nabbed a couple of assists and even scored one in five appearances. The five-man defensive wall of Santos will have to work extra hard to keep this duo and other Tigres attackers away from the box.
Harold Preciado and Brunetta were unstoppable for Santos last season, and the club could clinch a play-in spot because of the duo.
After Brunetta’s departure, the entire goalscoring onus has fallen on the shoulders of Preciado. The striker has scored three goals in five appearances but will need help from fellow attackers like Santiago Munoz and Duvan Vergara.
Despite being unbeaten, Tigres will be dissatisfied with their recent performances. After winning three in a row, the eight-time Liga MX champions were held to draws by Queretaro and Pumas in Liga MX.
To make matters worse, the club’s recent CONCACAF Champions Cup encounter with MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps also ended in a draw. After three consecutive draws, Robert Siboldi’s men will be itching to register a commanding win.
In the last two league games, there was no shortage of chances for Tigres. However, the club failed to capitalize on them.
Nicolas Ibanez saw his penalty saved against Queretaro, while the team allowed Pumas to come from 2-0 down to clinch a draw in their own backyard. Complacency crept in on both occasions, which Tigres must avoid if they want to secure convincing wins this season.
Javier Aquino is still recovering from an injury and will miss the next match. Jesus Garza has filled in for the right-back but looks a little nervous on the flank.
Santos may exploit this vulnerability and concentrate the attacks down their left wing. Garza will have to be sharp and keep Santos winger Pedro Aquino quiet.
Teams: Santos Laguna vs Tigres UANL
Location: Estadio Corona
Time: Saturday, February 10 at 10:00 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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