The Morelia vs Santos match will take place on Friday, November 9, 2012 at 10:30 PM EDT at the Estadio Morelos. This match has huge playoff implications, with the winner guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, the loser most certainly faces elimination. Will the defending Liga MX champions not even get a chance to defend its title?
Morelia- a draw enough to get into the playoffs
Morelia is currently in sixth place of the standings with 24 points. A win would get them automatically into the playoffs, a draw means that they would have to wait for other results, but would most likely go through (due to their goal differential). A loss against Santos would mean Morelia could only go through to the playoffs if no more than one of these teams win their matches: Chivas, Monterrey or Jaguares. Morelia hold their destiny in their hands.
Morelia is on a great eight game unbeaten streak, although they have only won two out of those eight matches. Nonetheless, in the past two games, Morelia hosted Xolos and traveled to Toluca, coming out of that tough schedule undefeated (2 draws). Morelia knows that a draw is enough to get them through to the next round, and they will use this to their advantage, likely playing a counterattacking style. Furthermore, Morelia will regain Miguel Sabah, who was absent from the Toluca match serving a one-game suspension.
Santos must win
It is quite simple for Santos, if they want a shot at defending their Liga MX title, they must defeat Morelia. Ok, there is a chance that they might make it through with a draw, however, if two out of these three things happen, Santos would be out if it draws: Chivas ties Xolos, Monterrey wins, or Jaguares wins. Pretty slim chances, basically Santos must win.
Santos has had a rocky season, losing and drawing games that they would have won the previous season, when they ended up in first place and won the playoffs. However, there is a bright light at the end of the mediocrity tunnel Santos has been in most of the season. Last week, Santos defeated Cruz Azul 2-1 in one of their best matches of the season. If Santos can play with the same intensity, they have a good shot at defeating Morelia.
Prediction: The Morelia vs Santos match should be an excellent encounter, as it will virtually be a one-game playoff. Morelia has the edge on this one, riding an eight game unbeaten streak, and playing in front of the home crowd will make them a formidable opponent. However, Santos is coming off a great match, and is in a do-or-die scenario, something which might push them to victory. I expect the end result in the Morelia vs Santos match will be an exciting, 2-2 draw, where Santos will have to depend on other scores to see if they make it to the playoffs.
Television: The Morelia vs Santos match will be televised on Azteca America on Friday, November 9, 2012 at 10:30 PM EDT.