|Imagine designed by Tyler Walter. Logos used with Free GNU Documentation License.|
Teams: Mexico's Santos Laguna hosting the United States' Columbus Crew
Records: Both teams are (1-0-0) in group play.
Last CCL Match: Santos Laguna defeated Joe Public 5-2 last Wednesday, while Columbus shutout Municipal 1-0.
TV Info: The match is live at 8:00 pm EST on Fox Soccer Channel.
Keys to the Game
- Breakdown the Crew's defense quickly – Columbus is the only team in Champions League action that has yet to concede a goal, and they'll be without a key cog in their defense, U.S. international Chad Marshall. A quick goal will set the tempo for the Warriors and it'll send the Crew scrambling to play catch up.
- Play man, not zone – If Santos is going to halt any attack from the Crew, they're going to need to play man on man, and not play zone. Columbus is dangerous with through balls and pass very well. If Santos leaves any open space for the Crew, they'll capitalize on it.
- Have a solid mentality – Columbus needs to go into Mexico having a positive outlook, in spite of missing several key players. They were able to lead against Toluca in Mexico last March and narrowly lost in the Champions League quarterfinals 5-4 on aggregate. Something for confidence? D.C. United, yes D.C. United played Santos Laguna in Torreon last March....and they won. Don't use that to be cocky though.
- Stop José María Cárdenas – The Champions League top scorers netted a hat trick and one against Joe Public. If their defense can prevent Santos from getting the ball to him, the Warriors will be in for a frustrating night, while Gruenebaum will be in for a...less eventful night.
Prediction: Santos Laguna defeats Columbus Crew 3-1.
Santos will probably have a mix of its starters and reserves while Columbus is looking like it will have primarily its "B"-squad fielded on the pitch tonight. The home field advantage is most likely going to play in Santos' favor, but Columbus should be able to nab a goal through Santos' leaky defense.