Analysis and forecast of the World Cup participants: Mexico

Mexico Football Team saluting crowd

El Tri will play in Group A against Brazil, Croatia and Cameroon and the team seems to be stronger than four years ago.

Robert Schuller breaks down Mexico's World Cup chances.

Coach

The Mexican national team had to change their coach three times during the qualifying round before they finally found a one with Miguel Herrera whose character and playing style fits to the players. Herrera was a national player himself in the 90s and managed to form a competitive title winning team with Club America, which came first and second in the Mexican league in two seasons in a row. As a national coach he has now achieved similar acclaim by bringing El Tri back on track.

Strengths

The quality of the Mexican national team is higher than four years ago as they have a lot of promising talents. Especially in the midfield there are some excellent players like America’s Miguel Layun, who is supposed to be observed by Florence, Marco Fabian, who was the best Mexican player at the Olympics two years ago, and of course Brizuela who has sparked the interest of several Spanish clubs although he would prefer the Premier League.

Also the strikers have a certain quality. Peralta has scored five of the nine goals in the Play offs against New Zealand and the two young strikers Pullido and Jimenez also have what it takes to play successfully in Europe. In fact Olympiakos has just bought Pullido for the next season according to ESPN Mexico. Apart from that there is still Chicharito from Manchester United and Giovanni dos Santos from Villareal, although Carlos Vela is not available after a fallout with the Mexican Football Association.

Weaknesses

The defence is lacking, which is why Mexico will bring in again the veterans Rafael Marquez, Carlos Salcido and Francisco Rodriguez. Only the 21-year old central defender Diego Reyes from Porto can be seen as providing promise for the future. The old players in the defence will probably be the weakest part of Mexican’s team.

Forecast

The Mexican national team plays under Herrera attractive and successful football. The team is a good mix between experienced players and young talents. Apart from that most of the players still play in the domestic league and therefore are used to playing with such an extreme heat in Brazil. It won't be surprising if Mexico becomes one of the positive surprises at this tournament and might even make it to the quarter final - although their usual run of second round exits suggest otherwise.

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