Mexico head to Guyana for the first of their final two games in the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying already assured of a place in next year’s hexagonal. It has been a perfect four wins from their four matches so far and Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre will be hoping to keep that record going against the side bottom of Group B.
Despite already having secured their progress, De la Torre is expected to name a strong lineup against the Caribbean nation. However, with no Jesus Zavala, through injury, or Carlos Salcido, there could well be a first cap for Hector Herrera. The highly rated midfielder was a part of Mexico’s victorious Olympic side and was also reportedly the subject of interest from Manchester United during the summer.
Given the record of Mexico’s youth teams in the past 18 months, De la Torre will surely be integrating several of the players into the senior side ahead of the next World Cup.
One of the overage players from the Olympic team, Oribe Peralta, will be looking to take his prolific form from the Summer Games into the full international set up. Javier Hernandez scored the only goal against Costa Rica last time out, but with the striker getting reduced playing time at Manchester United the pressure will be on the 24-year-old to show he still has his famed sharpness in front of goal.
Guyana have given up the right to host the match, with the game instead taking place in Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium. Their attack is likely to be led by former England Under-21 international Carl Cort. The 24-year-old, now at the NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies, cost Premier League club Newcastle United £7 million back in 2000, before injuries began to take their toll on his once highly promising career. Cort is likely to be joined in the lineup by younger brother, Leon, who plays for Charlton Athletic in the English second tier.
D: Pollard, L. Cort, Rodrigues, Newton
M: Shakes, Nurse, McKinnon, Millington
F: Richardson, C. Cort
D: Torres Nilo, Moreno, Rodriguez, Meza
M: Aquino, Torrado, Herrera, Guardado
F: Peralta, Hernandez
Prediction: Despite having little to play for, each Mexican player now knows that they can’t afford to rest on their laurels with the impressive talent pool now at De la Torre’s disposal. Mexico should cruise to a comfortable victory against lowly Guyana.
Guyana 0-3 Mexico
Where to watch: The match kicks-off at 9 p.m. ET, with coverage provided by Telemundo and a live stream available on Telemundo.com.