As the greatest show on the Earth is knocking around the corner, the Mexican wave is ready to take control over Russia. Carlos Osorio’s men are certainly not the favourites to emerge victorious in Russia but as from their recent past we all know this Mexican team can cause serious damage to the heavyweights. With firepower like Hernandez, Carlos Vela, Ochoa one simply cannot easily rule out Mexico. Last time the prolific Dutch ended the run of Mexico in Brazil but they make it to Russia playing the qualifiers in a quite comfortable way. Drawn in the group F along with Germany, Sweden and Korea Republic it’s going to be one hell of a fight for them.
● Squad Analysis :
The one stand out goalkeeper of the last World Cup Guillermo Ochoa is obviously the first choice for Osorio as the Standard Liege man earned a Champions League place with his Belgian club. Alfredo Talavera and Jesus Corona will be the spare goalkeepers in this 23 man Mexican squad.
Defending against the likes of Germany and Sweden will be a challenging task in itself and it will be a headache for Osorio to organize El tri at the back. Carlos Salcedo’s recovery will boost up the whole squad as the Frankfurt man give certainty to the Colombian gaffer.
Rafa Marquez is on the list after worries that off-the-field issues would deny the 39-year-old the chance to play at his fifth World Cup.
Hector Moreno and Diego Reyes both are recovering, but have been included in the list and will likely start the majority of El Tri’s match should they be back to full fitness. If not, Tigres center back Hugo Ayala, Chivas’ Oswaldo Alanis and America’s Edson Alvarez, the youngest player in the call-up, are ready in the wings.
The left-back spot is of little concern with Miguel Layun fit and Jesus Gallardo ready to be his deputy.
El tri loves to keep the ball in their feet and set the rhythm of the whole team and for that Osorio will be looking up towards his midfielders. With the likes of Anders Guardado and Hector Herrera who had a decent season with their respective club sides will give hope to the nation. Osorio also likes to attack the wings with speedy inverted wingers. Carlos Vella is looking forward to meet the expectations of the Colombian.
Javier Hernandaz, the most familiar face of this Mexican side would likely to have a good tournament as the West Ham man was playing a decent amount of time whenever he was not injured. Hirving Lozano had an excellent season with PSV as he led the Dutch side to a title this season.
● World Cup fixtures:
Mexico will open their World Cup campaign against the likes of Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels in the form of Germany on the 17th of June followed by South Korea on the 23rd and Sweden on the 27th.
○17th June – Germany
○23rd June – South Korea
○27th June – Sweden
● Past Record in World Cup:
EL tri has been an underdog in the last World Cups and their recent form clearly justifies that. They faced six straight round of 16 exit and getting used to it is the last thing they would want. Last time in Brazil, Robben and co. were too hot to handle for them but Osorio’s men are looking forward to go beyond that.
● Recent Form:
Playing against the decent sides like Poland, Bosnia, Iceland, Croatia, and Wales and keeping clean sheets in almost all of them boosted their confidence for sure.
Other than Croatia and Wales they beat all the sides to show their worth.
● Writer’s Take:
To be very honest competing against the likes of Germany, Sweden will be tough for the El tri as the two European sides can qualify from this group and if they can qualify I believe they really can get beyond the quarters this time. Football is unpredictable and that’s where it’s beauty lies. But untill that the nation can dream and dream big because they too know that this Mexican team can cause some serious upsets in Russia. A positive result in their opening match against Germany can set the tone for them qualifying for the next round.