WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Mexico

WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Mexico

COACH – Miguel Herrera
BEST SHOWING – Quarter Finals 1970, 1986
QUALIFICATION – 4th in CONCACAF (defeated New Zealand in a play-off)
TOURNAMENT ODDS – 200/1 (Youwin.com)

FIXTURES
June 13th – Cameroon (1700 BST, Natal ,ITV)
June 17th – Brazil (2000 BST, Fortaleza, BBC)
June 23rd – Croatia (2100 BST, Recife, ITV)

Button Brasil Button Croatia Button Cameroon

World Cup qualification from the CONCACAF section almost seems like a given for Mexico but this time around it was a different story as the Mexicans won just twice in the final qualifying group, with a loss in Costa Rica consigning them to a play-off against New Zealand.

Victor Manuel Vucetich was the latest in a long line of recent Mexican coaches to lose his job and in came Miguel Herrera who steered them to the World Cup with a convincing 9-3 aggregate win against the All Whites.

Herrera changed Mexico’s tactical setup as well, changing from the popular 4-3-1-2 for an attacking 5-3-2 where the wing backs play a role pushing forward.

Most of the Mexican squad ply their trade in their home country but goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is an exception.

The defence is ageing and a potential weakness, with 35-year-old Rafael Marquez and 34-year-old Carlos Salcido still mainstays.

With a new coach in charge Herrera still hasn’t found a preferred balance to his squad. Up front will be two out of Giovanni Dos Santos, Javier Hernandez and Oribe Peralta (scorer of a brace in the 2012 Olympic final).

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ONE TO WATCH

02 WORLD CUP HERRERAInfamously dismissed in a Champions League game with Zenit St.Petersburg for a rapid double booking, Herrera signed for FC Porto from Pachuca last summer.

There have been better times for the midfielder, though, who was one of the shining lights of the Mexican side’s 2012 Toulon triumph.

Known as a box-to-box midfielder, he could be needed to both cover for the slow defence and bomb forward on the counter attack to support the Mexican forwards.

HERE COMES D-JUDGE
D-Judge

This Mexican side had the worst qualifying campaign they’ve ever known and had the shame of finishing behind Honduras and Costa Rica.

Herrera’s arrival has seen improvement and the Brazilian conditions should play into their favour plus the disastrous qualifying campaign has seen expectations lowered a bit.

Talent-wise, Mexico can trouble the best on their day and they have reached the last 16 in the last five World Cups but they’ve always been found wanting against superior opposition.

The Croatia game is key to their hopes of advancing.

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VERDICT

At the very best Mexico will go no further than the last 16. It’s between them and Croatia for it.

world cup Brasil emblem 01

Danny Dos Santos (D-Good)
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @DGood83


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