- Santos Laguna favored as they host Cruz Azul in rematch of last season’s Liga MX Guardianes final
- Santos are coming off a decisive win over Necaxa in last week’s season debut
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends Sunday night at Estadio Nuevo Corona
Cruz Azul will be aiming to be avoid suffering consecutive losses in league play for the first time since January when they visit Santos Laguna on Sunday in a rematch of the recent Liga MX Guardianes final as lengthy +260 road underdogs.
Eager to avenge their recent playoff loss to Cruz Azul, Santos Laguna open their Apertura home schedule as +115 favorites, Los Guerreros are riding high following last week’s decisive 3-0 win over Necaxa, but have tallied consecutive wins just once over their past 14 overall contests.
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends ahead of this key Liga MX matchup at Estadio Nuevo Corona on Sunday night at 7pm ET.
Santos Laguna vs Cruz Azul Liga MX Odds
|Santos Laguna vs Cruz Azul||SAN -0.5 (+100) | CRU +0.5 (-165) (||SAN +115 | Draw +220 | CRU +260||Ov 2.5 (+120) | Un 2.5 (-160)|
*Odds at DraftKings as of August 1, 2021.
Cruz Azul Reeling from Season-Opening Defeat
Cruz Azul have plenty of work to do to overcome a disappointing start to the Apertura campaign. The reigning champions opened their schedule last week with a stunning 2-0 loss to Mazatlan, which also put the brakes on a nine-match win streak across all competitions.
Last week’s contest also marked the first time La Maquina had been held scoreless in defeat in league play since enduring a four-match losing streak back in January.
Cruz Azul launched their #LigaMX title defence last night but fell to Mazatlan 2-0.
This tackle and goal by Bryan Colula is great. pic.twitter.com/VOkigWWwo6
— LUKE (@luketaylortcd) July 27, 2021
And while the club tallied a 1-0 road victory over Santos Laguna that proved to be crucial to their championship victory back in May, they have otherwise struggled when battling Santos Laguna on the road, going winless in their five previous road dates in league play, and getting limited to just four total goals over that stretch.
Rodriguez Set to Make Season Debut
However, unlike last week, when they hit the pitch severely shorthanded, Cruz Azul should be back at full strength for Sunday’s date with Santos. Among the players expected to make their Apertura season debut are Jonathan Rodriguez.
Jonathan Rodríguez retorna de sus vacaciones para reportar con #CruzAzul.
Mucha falta hace ‘Cabecita’ en el ataque de la Máquina. 🚂🔵 https://t.co/rngXZBuO6X
— Daniel Sandoval (@DanielBSandoval) August 1, 2021
The top goalscorer in La Liga play last season, with 24 markers, the Uruguayan star has been a steady performer against Santos, scoring four times over his past five appearances, including a goal in the second leg of last season’s final that sealed the championship win for Cruz Azul. Rodriguez also leads all players in Sunday’s contest as a +90 bet to find the back of the net at least once.
Santos Try to Build on Impressive Opener
Santos Laguna aim to build on last week’s decisive victory over Necaxa when they hit the pitch for Sunday’s clash. The win marked a breakthrough of sorts for Los Guerreros, who carried their late season offensive woes into offseason friendly play.
The club managed to score one or fewer goals in four of their previous five overall outings, with the lone exception being a 4-4 draw in a friendly with Tampico Madera, a club from the Liga de Expansión MX.
🔥🔝 Arrancan con pie derecho en la LigaMX 🇲🇽🔥⚽️
Santos Laguna comenzó con una victoria 3-0 sobre Necaxa como visitante.
Félix Torres fue titular los 90 minutos, El 🇪🇨 fue amonestado.
Ayrton Preciado no estuvo en el partido, debido a que se recupera de su lesión. pic.twitter.com/MbEaLOfxXt
— Radio Huancavilca 830AM (@RadioHuancavilk) July 24, 2021
Not unlike all of last season, Santos generated scoring by committee with three different players tallying a score in last week’s win. But unlike Cruz Azul, there will be no additional reinforcements returning in time for Sunday’s Round 2 matchup.
Aguirre will be Missed
Among the most notable absences for Santos is last season’s top goalscorer Eduardo Aguirre, who is currently playing with Mexico’s contingent in the U-23 soccer tournament at the Tokyo Olympics. The 22-year-old led the way with eight goals last season, with seven of those goals coming over his final six appearances on home turf.
¡Seis minutos tenía en el campo 😱!
⚽ Eduardo Aguirre de media vuelta marca su segundo gol en los #JuegosOlimpicos de #Tokyo2020#OlimpicosTelemundo
Síguelo EN VIVO por nuestra APP Telemundo Deportes ➡️ https://t.co/Rc9UchvVqW #KOR 2-6 #MEX pic.twitter.com/INQYSL4uQf
— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) July 31, 2021
Recent dates between these Liga MX rivals have tended to be low scoring affairs, with the total going UNDER 2.5 in each of their past four meetings, and in four of the past five when Santos is the home club. Expect that trend to continue on Sunday. However, it is tough to overlook the value found in betting on the defending champions to extend their recent dominance over Los Guerreros.
The Picks: Cruz Azul (+260); UNDER 2.5 (-160)