It is time to present Mexico national football team, as they will play in the Group F alongside Germany, Sweden, and South Korea. El Tri will start their FIFA World Cup campaign against the defending champions Germany on June 17th, 2018, at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, while six days later they will meet South Korea at Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don as +105 favorites to win the clash. Their third game of the group phase against Sweden is set for June 27th, 2018, at Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg when El Tri will be slight +150 favorites to grab a victory.
This will be Mexico’s 16th partaking on the biggest stage, and their seventh FIFA World Cup tournament in a row, while on each of these seven occasions Le Tri finished the journey in the Round of 16. This summer in Russia, the bookies set them as +110 favorites to reach the second round, as Mexico will have a difficult task to qualify from the Group F where the competition looks pretty stiff. Their biggest success ever were Quarter-Finals in 1970 and 1986 when Mexico was a host, and the bookmakers set the price on them to replicate this achievement at +500.
Winner: +10000 at Bet365 Sportsbook
To Reach Semi-Finals: +1200
To Reach Quarter-Finals: +500
Group Qualifying Yes/No: +110/-138
Group Phase Matches:
The majority of Mexico players perform across Europa, but there are also some guys who play in the Mexican top tier and in MLS. Between the sticks will be the 32-year old Guillermo Ochoa (92 caps) from Standard Liege, while at the back, the 30-year old Hector Moreno (91 caps, 3 goals) from Real Sociedad, a 29-year old Miguel Layun (62 caps, 6 goals) from Sevilla, and a 25-year old Diego Reyes (55 caps, 1 goal) will be the main players.
In Mexico’s midfield, there are a few players who will orchestrate the play, such as the captain Andres Guardado (144 caps, 25 goals) from Betis, Giovani Dos Santos (102 caps, 18 goals) from LA Galaxy, and Javier Aquino (51 caps) from UANL-Tigres, while the presence of the 27-year old box-to-box midfielder Hector Herrera is priceless for this Mexico team.
The 29-year old fox in the box Chicharito (100 caps, 49 goals) from West Ham will lead the frontline, and he’s always playing very well in the national team jersey. There are a few guys who can play alongside Chicharito, as Carlos Vela (67 caps, 18 goals) from Los Angeles FC, Oribe Peralta (64 caps, 26 goals) from Club America, and Raul Jimenez (62 caps, 13 goals) from Benfica are all skillful forwards who can make some serious damage. The wingers Jesus Manuel Corona (33 caps, 7 goals) from Porto and Hirbing Lozano (26 caps, 7 goals) from PSV will both make an impact this summer in Russia.
The head coach Juan Carlos Osorio is leading the team since October 2015, and he mostly prefers an attacking 4-3-3 formation, but sometimes he switches to a 4-4-2 or even a 3-4-3 formation, as he possesses a lot of versatile players among the squad.
The road to 2018 World Cup: Mexico qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after finishing at the top of the CONCACAF qualifying group table with 21 points, a 6-3-1 record, and a goal difference of 16:7, ahead of Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, USA, and Trinidad and Tobago, while six out of their ten games had less than three goals in the total. At home, Mexico had a 4-1-0 record with a 10:2 goal difference and their only defeat came in the final match against Honduras on the road, 3-2, when Le Tri has already qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Gains: Mexico is a pretty agile team who likes to play a high pressure even against the stronger opponents, and their pace and teamwork are crucial to the team’s success. Also, Chicharito is an exceptional player who can make the difference on the pitch, and his scoring abilities are so valuable for the Mexicans.
Shortcomings: Aerial duels and defensive set pieces are both vulnerable spots of this Mexico team, as their players’ lack of strength is often a huge issue, particularly when they face national teams from Europa.
Players to Watch: Chicharito, Carlos Vela, Hector Herrera, Jesus Manuel Corona, Miguel Layun
Top Goalscorer: Chicharito +8000, Carlos Vela +15000, Oribe Peralta +15000
MY PICK: Mexico vs. South Korea Both Teams to Score YES (-105) – this will be a clash of two teams with a similar style of play, as both sides rely on a pacey teamwork and constant high pressure, so I assume we will see a couple of goals in this one, luckily at least one on each side.
ADDITIONAL PICK: Mexico vs Germany Over 2.5 Goals (-118) – these two sides met each other in 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, and Mexico was heavily beaten 4-1, so I think we could see more of the same in Russia this summer, despite it is the opening game of the group stage. Likewise, I have already mentioned that Mexico has certain problems when facing the physically stronger opponents.
Against the Odds: Mexico to Reach the Quarter-Finals (+500) – if Mexico finds the way through the group phase, it will be probably from the second spot of the Group F table, and it means they will face the first-spot team from the Group E, which should be mighty Brazil. In this scenario, Le Tri will have the most difficult task, so it is hard to imagine them winning over Selecao. However, at the World Cup, nothing can be taken for granted, and the Mexicans could be a tricky rival, considering their team spirit.