Mexico – Three World Cup stars to look out for in Russia 2018

Mexicans are up against it

Football fans knew Mexico were up against it in terms of qualifying for the knock out stages of the competition when the final team was drawn in Group F. Getting out of a pool boasting Germany, Sweden and South Korea will be no mean feat.

Germany are obvious favourites to finish on top with no more than 1/10 available on them qualifying with Mexico second favourites on 4/5 (Boylesports), Sweden 6/4 and South Korea 3/1. Juan Carlos Osorio’s team kick-off on Sunday 17th June vs Germany live on BBC and that match has the potential to make or break their campaign.

The Tricolor have been written off to lift the trophy – of course – with odds compilers at Sportingbet confident enough to offer a whopping 125/1. In 16 appearances they have reached the quarter-finals twice (1970 and 1986) and are 7/1 to repeat the feat in Russia.

With a wealth of talent in attack we pick out three players who will be key to success…..

Hernandez an important player

Carlos Vela

Mexico’s main hope of scoring the goals that’ll get them through the opening weeks. The 29-year-old former Arsenal striker is now working for Los Angeles in the MLS which may be a bit of a step-down in terms of competition but the number 10 has proven a hit with fans and team mates. Scored a famous double against LA Galaxy in March to find his feet and followed that with goals vs Vancouver and Montreal.

Vela already has 18 goals in 63 appearances for his national side and there’s a number of ways punters can have an interest on the attacker over the course of Mexico’s stay. Lovers of a price may fancy a small play on him to win the golden boot, but it’s judged highly unlikely with 500/1 available at 888Sport. Finishing as top scorer for his team is more probable, 4/1 with Bet Victor.

Javier Hernandez

A player well known to British football fans, Javier Hernandez is a former favourite of the Manchester United support and current West Ham employee. The 29-year-old celebrated 37 goals in 103 games for The Red Devils before being loaned out to Real Madrid where we continued to find the net. Now back in the Premier League and enjoying his football at the London Stadium, little pea was recently dubbed one of the best finishers in the game by Jamie Redknapp.

The rumour mill suggests he’s keen on a move away from The Hammers who have failed to set the heather alight this season and he has certainly been placing himself in the shop window, snatching important goals including one vs Chelsea in a London derby earlier this year, despite only being on the park for three minutes. He’ll keep backers entertained and is 100/1 (888Sport) to top score at the competition.

Hugo Ayala

May not be a household name among casual followers of football but the centre back has been a regular in the Mexico defence of late and played a leading role in their Gold Cup campaign last year when the team kept clean-sheets against Jamaica, Honduras and Curacao. That backline will be tested again this summer and Ayala will be expected to play a key role.

The experienced 31-year-old already has 40 caps behind him and although he has managed just one goal in that time he’s not a player who concerns himself with getting forward, preferring to do his best work at the other end of the park. In recent warm-up games Mex kept off Iceland and Poland.

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