Preview: Canada vs. Mexico – prediction, team news, lineups – Sports Mole

Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s World Cup Qualifying – North Central America clash between Canada and Mexico, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Canada and Mexico look to take one step closer to their dream qualification for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar when they go head to head in a crucial CONCACAF Qualifying clash at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium in Canada on Tuesday evening.

The hosts are the only remaining unbeaten side left in the group heading into the midweek qualifier, whilst the visitors come into this one on the back of their first defeat of the campaign on Friday evening.

Match preview

Canada's Jonathan Osorio celebrates with teammates on October 7, 2021© Reuters

Canada find themselves in the final automatic qualification spot of third heading into their clash with Mexico in the week, with their eyes set firmly on qualification for only their second ever World Cup appearance.

Competing in Qatar in 2022 would provide Les Rouges’ with the ideal experience and warmup for their co-hosting of football’s global tournament in 2026, in what is quickly becoming labelled as their ‘golden generation’ of soccer talent in the North American country.

English head coach John Herdman has been the man in charge of this ever-growing pool of talent, and has overseen a rise to 48th in the latest FIFA world rankings as a result of their recent success.

With the help of Bayern Munich and Lille stars Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, as well as young winger Tajon Buchanan, Herdman has led the Canadians to three wins and four draws at the halfway stage of the Octagonal CONCACAF qualifying group, with back-to-back victories over Panama and Costa Rica proving vital.

David was the hero on Friday evening, scoring the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory over the Costa Ricans, with yet another solid defensive show on display from the hosts.

Conceding just the four goals from the opening seven fixtures mean the Canadians boast the joint-best defensive record in the CONCACAF group, and has quickly seen them become a frustrating opponent to compete against in qualifying.

Mexico defender Cesar Jasib Montes Castro celebrates his goal on July 1, 2021© Reuters

Meanwhile, Mexico make the trip north on the back of their first defeat in qualifying, after suffering a 2-0 loss to their big rivals USA in Cincinnati on Friday evening.

The defeat has seen El Tri drop to second in the Octagonal table, with the Americans leapfrogging them to the summit as a result of their triumph.

Gerardo Martino‘s men still look set to continue their impressive record of competing in every World Cup since 1990, but will be aware of the difficult task ahead in the week against a defensively-stubborn opponent that frustrated them in a 1-1 draw at the Estadio Azteca back in October.

Depending on Panama’s result against El Salvador, the Mexicans could in fact drop to fourth position – a playoff qualification spot rather than an automatic position – were they to lose in Canada.

There would still be six qualification games remaining for Martino’s side to put things right, but the Argentine boss will be looking for a response from his players after the setback against their American rivals.

Canada World Cup Qualifying – North Central America form:

Mexico World Cup Qualifying – North Central America form:

Mexico form (all competitions):

Team News

Canada manager John Herdman pictured June 24, 2019© Reuters

Canada handed an international debut to Ike Ugbo against Costa Rica last Friday, but the Genk forward is likely to remain on the bench again with Davies occupying an unnatural forward position alongside David in a two-man attack.

An unchanged lineup could be named by Herdman, in what has been a settled team for much of the qualification campaign so far.

Thirty-eight-year-old Atiba Hutchinson will likely have to settle for a place on the bench again as a result, but the Besiktas midfielder will become Canada’s record appearance holder should he play a part, with what would be his 90th cap for his country and overtake Julian de Guzman as a result.

As for Mexico, they will welcome back central defender Nestor Araujo at the heart of their defence, with the Celta Vigo defender missing out in the States last Friday due to a one-match suspension.

Fellow central defender Hector Moreno will not be part of the squad on Tuesday though, with him returning to his domestic side Monterrey due to an injury.

Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez should continue to lead the line despite a disappointing performance last time out, with Rogelio Funes Mori expected to remain on the bench as a result.

Jimenez will receive support in attack from Napoli winger Hirving Lozano, with Ajax and Atletico Madrid midfielders Edson Alvarez and Hector Herrera occupying the middle of the park.

Canada possible starting lineup:

Borjan; Laryea, Vitoria, Miller, Adekugbe; Buchanan, Eustaquio, Kaye, Millar; David, Davies

Mexico possible starting lineup:

Ochoa; L Rodriguez, Araujo, Vasquez, Gallardo; C Rodriguez, Alvarez, Herrera; Corona, Jimenez, Lozano

SM words green background

We say: Canada 1-1 Mexico

There was very little between these sides when they last met in October, and we can see there being a repeat of the 1-1 scoreline in this one on Tuesday evening.

Canada will be backed by another huge crowd in Edmonton, and it is difficult to see them falling to their first defeat of the qualification campaign just yet, against a Mexico side still hurting from a first loss.

Top tip

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