MEXICO – Toothless attack a concern for Mexico

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FIFA ranking: 13

Odds: 100-1

Previous tournaments:

Mexico have played in 16 World Cups, including the last seven. Their best performances came in 1970 and 1986, when they reached the quarter-finals.

‘El Tri’ have made the last 16 each time in the last seven editions.

How they qualified:

Mexico qualified second in the eight-team CONCACAF table. They collected 28 points from 14 matches, finishing behind Canada on goal difference, scoring 17 goals and conceding eight.

Form guide:

Mexico have struggled in attack, having averaged one goal per game in their 15 competitive matches and friendlies in 2022.

Toothless attack a concern for Mexico

Pessimism surrounds Mexico as they gear up for the World Cup in Qatar after inconsistency in qualifying and warm-up matches.

Despite finishing second in the eight-team CONCACAF qualifiers behind Canada, Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino’s side drew criticism for the performances, with their toothless attack posing a major concern.

Mexico, who lost the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup finals against the U.S. last year, have averaged one goal per game in their 15 competitive matches and friendlies in 2022.

‘El Tri’ fans and a large section of the Mexican soccer media continue to question their Argentinian coach, who is under immense pressure to turn around their fortunes.

But Martino believes the pessimism will only motivate the team to prove the critics wrong.

Mexico will be looking to end a 36-year wait for a place in the quarter-finals, having reached the last 16 in each of the previous seven editions.

They face a stern test in Group C, where they are paired alongside Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Poland.

Injuries are the latest problem threatening Mexico’s campaign in Qatar, with a number of key players sidelined.

Martino has said he will make a last-minute decision on the inclusion of Raul Jimenez (groin) and Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona (fractured fibula), while Rogelio Funes Mori, Luis Romo and Jorge Sanchez are recovering and Hector Herrera is a doubt.

With Mexico desperate for goals and short on options, all-time top scorer Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez could have been the one to fill the void but the LA Galaxy forward was left out of their initial 31-man squad despite his good form this season.

Hernandez, who has played at three World Cups, has not earned a place in the squad since 2019.

Winger Hirving Lozano, forward Alexis Vega and versatile midfielder Edson Alvarez will have to step up if Mexico are to spring a surprise at the finals.

Team announced :

Guillermo Ochoa, Alfredo Talavera, Rodolfo Cota , Jorge Sánchez, Kevin Álvarez, Néstor Araujo, Johan Vásquez, Héctor Moreno, César Montes, Gerardo Arteaga, Jesús Gallardo , Andrés Guardado, Héctor Herrera, Charly Rodríguez, Erick Gutiérrez, Luis Chávez, Edson Álvarez, Orbelín Pineda, Luis Romo , Alexis Vega, Hirving Lozano, Raúl Jiménez, Roberto Alvarado, Uriel Antuna, Henry Martín and Rogelio Funes Mori