Mexico make their last preparations for the final round of World Cup qualifying when they take on Denmark in Phoenix on Wednesday. The hexagonal campaign begins for El Tri with a home encounter with Jamaica in a week’s time.
To some extent it is not quite accurate to call the clash with Denmark a warm up. With the friendly taking place outside of FIFA’s designated international dates, Jose Manuel de la Torre is unable to call upon his European-based players.
However, it would be an overstatement to call the clash meaningless. Mexico’s youth teams have enjoyed phenomenal success of late, highlighted by an Olympics gold medal last summer, and many of those players will be looking to make their mark against the Danes.
In total there are 10 members of the Olympic squad present in Phoenix. The trio of Hector Herrera, Diego Reyes and Jorge Enriquez will all be hopeful of playing a key role in Mexico’s path to Brazil in 2014.
Like, Mexico, Denmark will also have something of a B team on display at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Morten Olsen’s squad only features players from the Danish Superliga, which is currently in its off-season.
The squad incudes a blend of youth and experience. Those looking to establish themselves in the international arena include Nordsjaelland defender Jores Okore and Copenhagen forward Andres Cornelius. While, at the other end of the age scale, 34-year-old winger Dennis Rommedahl is still going strong for the Danes.
D: Aguilar, Reyes, Rodriguez, Nilo
M: Aquino, Herrera, Salcido, Fabian
F: Peralta, De Nigris
D: Dalsgaard, Okore, Hoegh, Kadril
M: Sloth, Silberbauer, Lorentzen
F: Rommedahl, Cornelius, Jorgensen
Prediction: The match provides an intriguing contest between sets of players from a middling European league and a Mexican league looking to show that it warrants greater respect on the world stage.
Denmark already have a game under their belts, having beaten Canada 4-0 at the weekend and will provide strong competition for El Tri. But Mexico look to have the greater quality in the final third and cheered on by the support in Phoenix should grab the win.
Mexico 2-1 Denmark
Where to watch: The international friendly will kick-off at 10 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by ESPN2, with a live stream available on ESPN3.