CAN an understrength Mexico side rewrite the wrongs of their 2011 Copa America disaster? Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) talks you through their chances of success this summer.
- Outright Winner: 28/1 (Betfair)
- Group A Winner: 11/2 (Betfair)
- Top-Two Group A Finish: 8/11 (SkyBet)
- Highest Scoring Team: 33/1 (SkyBet)
- Form Post-World Cup: W6-D1-L2
Mark O’Haire’s View
I learnt a hard betting lesson at the World Cup in 2014 – don’t dismiss Mexico. El Tri have progressed from the group stage in each of their last six finals but I was adamant that their disastrous qualifying campaign would come back to haunt them in Brazil. But I wasn’t counting on charismatic coach Miguel Herrera galvanising the group.
Herrera won friends around the globe for his celebrations and touchline antics and the Twitter lover is back in the dugout as Mexico go in search of their first ever Copa America crown. El Tri have twice finished runners-up and on three occasions taken bronze as the tournament’s invitational side but the team are hoping to avoid the same embarrassment as in 2011.
You see, like in 2011, Mexico are in demand. As well as the Copa, Herrera’s men will compete in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which kicks-off just days after the Copa concludes. Four years ago, El Tri took an U23 squad to the Copa America and crashed out without a point in the group stage. This time around they’re fielding a squad of mainly domestic players and youngsters from across Europe as well as veteran defender Rafa Marquez.
Gold Cup glory represents Confederations Cup qualification so it’s understandably to prioritise their own home tournament but it would be foolish to write off their Copa chances based on their understrength squad. The standard of Mexican football remains strong and the players should be well versed in Herrera’s tried and trusted 5-3-2 system. Expect energetic wing-backs and solid central midfielders with the potential X-Factor arriving from Twente winger Jesús Corona and Atletico Madrid front man Raúl Jiménez.
The undisputed spine is missing and although Herrera claims the group could reach the final, simply reaching the last eight must be Mexico’s first aim. With Bolivia up first, El Tri could benefit from El Verde’s lack of preparation and get an early three points on the board; that could well be enough to clinch a third qualifying place but it’s hard to find the faith to back the 8/11 (SkyBet) on the Central Americans finishing in the top-two.
The View From The Inside
“Even with a ‘B’ team, Mexico should have no trouble making it into the quarter-finals. A likely second-place finish in Group A would put El Tri up against the runner-up of Group C–which could be Colombia or Brazil. After the embarrassing results in 2011, anything better than the quarter-finals should be seen as a big success.
Look out for FC Twente’s midfielder, Jesus Manuel “Tecatito” Corona. With his excellent agility and ball control, Tecatito is an exciting youngster who seems to be getting better with every game.”
- Cesar Hernandez (@CesarHFutbol) of ESPN.
- Mexico vs Bolivia | 13th June 2015 | 00.30 | Premier Sports
- Mexico vs Chile | 16th June 2015 | 00.30 | Premier Sports
- Mexico vs Ecuador | 19th June 2015 | 22.00 | Premier Sports
Mexico Form & Stats
|Last 10 Competitive Games||W5-D1-L4||Last 20 Competitive Games||W9-D3-L8|
|0-0 Draw||1/10||0-0 Draw||3/20|
|Over 1.5 Goals||8/10||Over 1.5 Goals||15/20|
|Over 2.5 Goals||7/10||Over 2.5 Goals||12/20|
|Over 3.5 Goals||3/10||Over 3.5 Goals||4/20|
|Over 4.5 Goals||2/10||Over 4.5 Goals||2/20|
|Both Teams To Score||7/10||Both Teams To Score||12/20|
|Fail To Score||2/10||Fail To Score||5/20|
|Clean Sheet||2/10||Clean Sheet||6/20|
|HT Draw||6/10||HT Draw||13/20|
|Over 1.5 Team Goals||4/10||Over 1.5 Team Goals||7/20|
|Win + Both Teams To Score||4/10||Win + Both Teams To Score||6/20|
*All stats and form correct until 30 May 2015*