Host nation Chile can clinch a quarterfinals berth with a victory over a Mexico B-team on Monday in a Copa America group match at Estadio Nacional in Santiago. While Chile have superstars Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Bravo in the lineup, El Tri enter the Group A match without Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Carlos Vela and Hector Herrera.
Chile are coming off a 2-0 victory over Ecuador on Thursday, with goals coming from Vidal and an Eduardo Vargas penalty. The Chileans enter the match against Mexico with an extra day of rest, and a boisterous crowd expected to be on hand. Roughly 46,000 were in attendance against Ecuador, as Jorge Sampaoli's squad provided a glimpse in what could be the country's first ever Copa America title. Only Argentina and Brazil are better favorites to win the tournament.
Mexico, meanwhile, are coming off a rather lackluster performance against Bolivia. Miguel Herrera's squad failed to mount enough pressure on a weak Bolivia squad in a scoreless result. It was an overall uninspired effort for El Tri, as they seem far more interested in a strong outcome in the upcoming Gold Cup.
If things weren't challenging enough, Miguel Herrera was dealt a blow with captain Rafael Marquez ruled out of Mexico's group matches due to a hamstring injury. The 36-year-old played about an hour of the match before being replaced by Javier Aquino.
Winger Jesus "El Tacatito" Corona is one of the lone bright spots for Mexico. The 22-year-old is considered a rising star, and will likely look to make a good impression against Chile as he tries to gain a more prominent role on the squad. After starring for Mexico's under-20 side, Corona has six caps and a goal on his resume with the senior team.
Mexico will probably be pleased with a draw, and will almost certainly use a counter-attacking strategy. El Tri may still advance to the knockout stage even if they don't finish in the top two of their group, so a hard-nosed effort from the defensive midfield should be crucial to earning a point and keeping their tournament hopes alive. Miguel Herrera may need a strong performance from defenders Hugo Ayala and Julio Dominguez if they hope to contain Sanchez, Vidal and even Jorge Valdivia, a veteran attacking midfielder.
Predicted Score: Chile over Mexico, 2-1