The Mexicans always have a talented squad, previous World Cups have seen them bring stars like Jared Borghetti and Rafa Marquez (Who interestingly is still playing and is in the squad, aged 35). They have new star players kike Miguel Layun, a talented Left Back/Wing Back, Andres Guardado, Hector Herrera (Now at Porto) and more. Here is their 23 man squad:
GK’s: Juan Corona, Guillermo Ochoa, Alfredo Tavalera
DF’s: Miguel Layan, Carlos Salcido, Andres Guardado, Hector Moreno, Francisco Rodriguez, Diego Reyes, Rafael Marquez, Paul Aguilar
MF’s: Miguel Ponce, Jose Vasquez, Luis Montes, Hector Herrera, Isaac Brizuela, Marco Fabian, Carlos Pena
FW’s: Oribe Peralta, Javier Hernandez, Giovani Dos Santos, Raul Jimenez, Alan Pulido
Coach: Miguel Herrera – a master of Mexican football, he has been brought in to help the national team. He has only had three games so far, winning all three but two were against NZ. He employs a 3-5-2 or 5-3-2, with three centre backs and two attack-minded full backs. This system helped him win titles with Club America, but will it work at International level?
Missing: Carlos Vela – Rather farcically, he still does not think he is mature enough to play for the team, despite getting call ups a few years ago. There is an underlying issue here, and I am not sure what it is! He has not been picked, despite several great seasons with Sociedad.
Mexico started well in the 3rd stage of qualifying (Their first stage), but in the 4th stage they ended up 4th and having to go through a continental playoff with New Zealand, which they won 9-3 if I remember correctly. With what they have at their disposal, it should not have been so hard!
Ones to Watch:
Miguel Layun – A talented left wing back, Layun is an attacking force! Very strong and quick – he could be a key man on the left of a 5 man midfield/defence.
Gio Dos Santos – the ex-Barca starlets’ career had stagnated a little at Tottenham, but now at Villarreal, with an attacking manager, he has flourished and become the player most thought he would a few years back. Peralta and Jimenez may have been used through most of qualifying, but we think he will take his place at the World Cup alongside Javier Hernandez – if, Chicarito fits with the 3-5-2 system.
Luis Montes – all through qualifying this little midfield maestro has been key to their success. Not a household name, but a good little player who does the job well in Centre Midfield. Very much looking forward to seeing him at the tournament.
(3-5-2/5-3-2): Ochoa, Aguilar, Marquez, Reyes, Rodriguez, Layun, Herrera, Montes, Pena, Dos Santos, Peralta.
I have an inkling that Javier Hernandez will play a bench role. He has not been getting game time at Man Utd, and has let down the national team with poor performances recently, leading to Oribe Peralta getting a chance, and taking it with a couple of great goals. Gio Dos Santos is the perfect second striker, Chicarito could do a job but I see Herrera going with a trusted forward. JH and GDS may be too similar to work together. Andres Guardado also misses out – but with the form of Miguel Layun I can’t see him getting in anywhere else other than the left side of midfield, which is ML’s position. An old face in Carlos Salcido will probably be on the bench too, Paul Aguilar’s form is terrific, so he is guaranteed a spot in the first 11.
Not a great deal of value with Mexico – but here are some of the odds you will want to know:
Winner – 150/1
Group Winner – 8/1
To Qualify from Group Stage – 11/10
Round of Elimination: Group Stage – 8/13
Under 3.5 Points – 4/6
Although Mexico have a very good team, I can see Croatia pipping them to the 2nd Qualifying spot in Group A. Their attack is good, but defensively they are slow – Marquez is in his late 30’s, Rodriguez turns like an old bus. The two full backs are very attack minded so I think they will be prone to counter attacks. Best bet from us is Round of Elimination – Group Stage at 8/13, or Under 3.5 Group Points at 4/6