Mexico have reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup for each of the past six tournaments, and expectations are that they should be able to do it again. After a reasonable World Cup in 2014 Mexico have found international success hard to come by, they failed to win a game in their Copa America group in 2015, then lost 7-0 against Chile in the quarter-finals of the 2016 competition.
Players which Mexico usually rely on like Javier Hernandez, Carlos Vela and Giovani dos Santos have started to be less consistent with their best performances and the results are telling.
Juan Carlos Osorio has been in charge of Mexico since 2015 and is fighting a battle to keep the Mexican supporters on side. Boos and calls for ‘Osorio out’ could be heard from the Estadio Azteca following Mexico’s 1-0 win over Scotland. “My main objective is to have a good World Cup and earn my right to be asked to continue with Mexico,” Osorio told ESPN.
Germany vs Mexico – 16:00, Sunday 17 June
South Korea vs Mexico – 16:00, Saturday 23 June
Mexico vs Sweden – 15:00, Wednesday 27 June
Javier Hernandez: Mexico’s best ever striker is one away from 50 goals, but carries mixed form into the tournament. A lot of Hernandez’s time at West Ham was spent on the bench, but he always looked lively whenever he was used. Hernandez responded with a straightforward “yes” when asked if he sees himself holding the trophy and believes Mexico can become champions.
Giovani dos Santos: The former Barcelona and Tottenham midfielder has found his feet at LA Galaxy after spending a decade in Europe. He starred as Mexico won gold in the 2012 London Olympics and has been a consistent part of the Mexican setup since making his debut in 2007.
Andres Guardado: The member of the current squad with the highest caps is an experienced international and heading to his fourth World Cup. Andres Guardado has scored some important goals for Mexico from left midfield, including a strike against Croatia in Brazil 2014 to put Mexico into the quarter-finals.
One to watch
Hirving Lozano: Hirving Lozano was one of the most fouled players in the Mexican League before moving to PSV. His raw pace and trickery on the wings will make him a player Mexico’s opponents are going to need a plan for.
How did they get here?
Mexico were undefeated as they strolled to success in their CONACAF qualifying group ahead of Honduras, Canada and El Salvador, conceding just one goal.
How will they do?
Recent form in World Cups points to a quarter-final finish for Mexico but that could be a stretch this year. They are likely to finish second in their group, which would set up a last 16 tie with Brazil and potentially ending their World Cup there.
Odds on Mexico winning the World Cup: 100/1
Goalkeepers: Jesus Corona, Alfredo Talavera, Guillermo Ochoa
Defenders: Edson Alvarez, Hugo Ayala, Jesus Gallardo, Miguel Layun, Hector Moreno, Diego Reyes, Carlos Salcedo
Midfielders: Jesus M. Corona, Marco Fabian, Giovani Dos Santos, Jhonatan Dos Santos, Andres Guardado, Rafael Marquez
Forwards: Javier Aquino, Javier Hernandez, Raul Jimenez, Hirving Lozano, Oribe Peralta, Carlos Vela