The time has begun for the preparations for the big stage. The Russia 2018 World Cup is approaching and it is time for Mexico to prepare for next summers big stage. Mexico take on Belgium in Brussels this Friday as El Tri take on a European giant. A major test this will be for the CONCACAF team after closing out the Hexagonal with a loss against Honduras.
Here are the major talking points going into this Friday’s game in Brussels.
Surprise Call Ups
With El Tri released their 23-man roster a few days ago, it was interesting to see a two new faces on the roster. Uriel Antuna and Omar Govea are getting their first call up to the national team. Omar Govea has been sensational for Royal Excel Mourscorn, starting every single match this season while adding 3 goals in 14 starts. Uriel Antuna has 3 games under his belt with 2 of those being starts with Groningen.
The surprise call ups being the dos Santos brothers and Jurgen Damm. With Elias Hernandez being in the form of his life right now and got snubbed. Other than Uriel and Omar Govea, the rest of the lineup looks like what we could see Osoria take to Russia in the summer.
This battle is going to come down to the midfield. Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado look to lead the midfield over these next two friendlies. Guardado is second in assist in La Liga with six assist and Hector Herrera has been creative in the midfield for Porto. With Omar Govea and Edson Alvarez in the roster it looks like both will get a chance in the holding role that is still up for grabs.
Hirving Lozano the dangerous threat in the final third. Lozano has scored 9 goals in 9 league starts with PSV Einhoven. No other play is close to this mark. Chicharito has 4 goals in 11 starts with West Ham United. Raul Jimenez has no goals in 11 appearances with Benfica only starting one game. Jesus Corona has 1 goal in 11 appearances 8 of those being starts with FC Porto. Mexico need to find options to be able to open this strong backline that includes Vertonghen, Kompany and Alderweireld. Not to mention Thibaut Courtois standing in goal for Belgium
This is a tough match ahead for Mexico. I am going to go with a 2-2 draw. Mexico might struggle early on trying to adapt to a high pressure attack from the Red Devils. That won’t stop them from pushing forward into scoring goals though. This is an important test for El Tri leading up to the World Cup.