World Cup Preview, Group A: Mexico 6 years ago

World Cup Preview, Group A: Mexico

The Central American nation are our sole focus as we continue our preview of Group A at the World Cup in Brazil.

Top Man

El Salvador v Mexico - CONCACAF Qualifiers

Javier Hernandez is their most high-profile player seeing as he plies his trade at Manchester United. Despite being only a bit-part player at Old Trafford, his international scoring record is nothing short of phenomenal, scoring 35 goals in 58 appearances. This is still one of the best pieces of improvisation we have ever seen when it comes to headed goals...

He's a real fans' favourite at Old Trafford thanks to his belief in the team ethos and his refusal to go crying to the press or manager about his lack of playing time. He is rumoured to be leaving Manchester this summer and will not be short of options when it comes to finding a new club and a good World Cup will give him even more options.

Rising Star

Oribe Peralta is no spring chicken, in fact he's now 30, but when you hear people describe him as 'The best striker at the World Cup not currently playing in Europe', you have to sit up and take notice. He scored two goals in the Olympic Final against Brazil (pic below), the first of which was scored after 29 seconds, making it the fastest ever goal scored in the final of a FIFA-sanctioned competition.

Olympics Day 15 - Men's Football Final - Brazil v Mexico

Mexico qualified for the World Cup by giving New Zealand a 9-3 aggregate hiding, with Peralta scoring five of the nine goals. He has 16 goals in just 30 appearances for Mexico and could be a real secret weapon for the Mexicans in Brazil.

Did you know?

Mexican manager and former player Miguel Herrera missed out on playing at the World Cup in USA in 1994 after he punched a photographer during a league game in the lead-up to the finals and was dropped from the squad as a disciplinary measure.

Reasons for Irish fans to support them

The immediately obvious connection is the green jersey, but we are pretty sure there are one or two Manchester United fans living in Ireland. The fact that fans' favourite Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez is playing for them will ensure that Mexico have a lot of Irish support.

If they were a TV series

They would be that classic British soap, El Dorado. When we say 'classic', we clearly mean 'one of the most God-awful things ever to appear on a telly.' The connection is tenuous at best, but you come up with a better one! El Dorado is Spanish for the 'Golden One' which is precisely what Mexico are seeking to win... in Brazil... the World Cup trophy... it's gold... oh never mind.

Prediction

Mexico nearly always qualify for the World Cup and for the last five World Cups they've even managed to get out of their group. This is where it's become an obstacle for them. They haven't got past the last 16 stage since being hosts back in 1986. Herrera will be canonised in Mexico if he can bring them past the last 16. However, although we see them qualifying from the group as runners-up to Brazil, we cannot see them getting past either Spain or Holland in the next round.

 Ladbrokes Betting Odds: 125/1

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