Ronaldinho Queretaro
Queretaro's Ronaldinho gestures during their Copa MX soccer match against Guadalajara Chivas. REUTERS/Alejandro Acosta

Two of the most unlikely competitors will meet on the pitch on Thursday evening in the first leg of Liga MX's Clausura Final. Santos Laguna and Queretaro collide in the Estadio Corona in Torreon, Mexico.

The unlikely finalists echo the words of Hip-Hop artist Drake, "Started from the bottom now we're here." Indeed, both clubs started near the bottom of the table to start the season, but miraculously climbed up the standings and are by far the two hottest teams in Mexico at the moment.

Queretaro won 2-0 against Pachuca and advanced via away goals because the aggregate score was tied 2-2. It is the first time the club has ever advanced to the Liga MX final and moved on because of their higher regular season standings over Pachuca. Meanwhile, Santos Laguna defeated heavy favorite Chivas Guadalajara 3-0 in a dominant second leg after a scoreless draw in the first leg left the match up for grabs.

The biggest star on either side of the pitch is Brazilian legend Ronaldinho who has been the central figure of controversy and ramped speculation leading up the match. Ronaldinho had been accused of being lazy earlier in the season and according to reports, refused to run during training sessions. That led Queretaro manager Victor Manuel Vucetich, who was on the hot seat all season to move the Brazilian striker to the bench. The move worked as his team caught fire and sky rocketed through the Liga MX table en route to their first final appearance. When asked if he would change his tactics regarding Ronaldinho for the final, Vucetich had this to say:

"We will not change anything. We will work with the same line we have been. We have talked to the players and we know that's what is required. The team is doing well, they're complete. We can face any obstacle, but we will find a way to get the best out of our team."

In the wake of Ronaldinho's benching, Jonathan Bornstein has become a fixture for Queretaro. Bornstein scored a timely goal in the 2-0 victory over Pachuca in the semifinals and has solidified himself at left back.

Both teams are expected to play a 4-4-2 formation for the match and we believe Ronaldinho will not start up front, but Emanuel Villa instead.

Prediction: 1-0 Santos Laguna

The match is set to commence at 9:30PM EST and the Estadio Corona in Torreon, Mexico. The game will air live on Azteca America, so check your local listings. It can be live streamed here.

Betting Odds Provided by

Santos Laguna: -1/2 (Even)
Queretaro: +1/2 (-130) / +250 ML
Over/Under: 2.5 goals

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