Mexico will begin in earnest their preparation for their World Cup opener against Poland on November 22nd with a friendly against African giants Nigeria at the AT&T Stadium starting at 01:08GMT.
Can Mexico begin their World Cup Preparations with a Morale Boosting Win?
Mexico will be looking to be ready for their Group C matches against Poland, Argentina, and Saudi Arabia.
The match against Nigeria will serve as the official beginning of the road to Qatar for Mexico after most domestic seasons across Europe ended.
Gerardo Martino will be looking to get his team to gel and achieve the required shape to compete effectively against world opponents at the World Cup.
Martino will look for a better showing than the 0-0 result against Guatemala in a friendly back on April 28th, when the national team was last in action.
Can Nigeria Show that they can be Competitive against World Cup Teams?
Gernot Rohr, the German manager in charge of the Super Eagles, will be eager to provide Nigeria with a platform to rebound from their failure to qualify for Qatar 2022 after the agonizing exit at the hands of rivals Ghana n away goals after a 1-1 draw in Abuja.
The match against Mexico provides the marquee opposition that Nigeria can use as a springboard to help the country to move on from the fact that they will not be representing Africa at the biggest football event in the world.
Rohr will also use the match to experiment with players and new call-ups to establish a new balance for the Super Eagles, as the team looks forward to establishing its footballing dominance, after two major failures this year – not winning the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and failing to make it to Qatar 2022.
Mexico are unbeaten in seven matches; they have won four times and drawn three times in this run.
Over their last ten international outings, Mexico have won five times, drawn thrice, and lost twice. The two losses came in consecutive away World Cup Qualifiers Final Round matches against the USA (2-0) and Canada (2-1).
Gerardo Martino will be looking to extend Mexico’s unbeaten run to eight matches when they face Nigeria on Sunday, as they pick up steam in readiness for the World Cup opener against Poland in Qatar in November.
Over the last ten competitive outings, the Super Eagles have won six times, drawn thrice, and lost once.
Two of the three draws came in the World Cup Qualifier third round doubleheader against Ghana, with the first leg in Accra ending in a 0-0 stalemate while the second leg in Abuja ended in a costly 1-1 with the Super Eagles failing to make it to the World Cup.
At the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, Nigeria started the tournament well with three wins in the group stage before losing 1-0 to Tunisia in the Round of 16.
Possible Starting Lineups
Ochoa; J. Sanchez, C. Montes, N. Araujo, J. Gallardo; E. Gutierrez, E. Alvarez, C. Rodriguez; U. Antuna, R. Jimenez, A. Vega
Uzoho; O. Aina, W. Troost-Ekong, L. Balogun, C. Bassey; O. Etebo; E. Dennis, F. Onyeka, J. Aribo, A. Lookman; V. Osimhen
Players to Watch
Raul Jimenez ended the season as joint top scorer for Wolves with six goals and topped the assist charts with five in 36 appearances for the team in the English Premier League.
Jimenez will lead Mexico’s attack heading into the world cup and his selfless runs and cutting edge in front of goal will be vital for Mexico’s hopes of progressing deeper into the World Cup.
In the match against Nigeria, Jimenez will be the danger man with his aerial power, clever positioning, effective movement, and pressing.
Victor Osimhen ended the season with an impressive 18 goals and two assists in 32 appearances. Although this did not propel Napoli to the Scudetto, Osimhen showed his worth in Serie A.
The Napoli forward is a major asset for the Super Eagles, and he was dearly missed in the Africa Cup of Nations when he was ruled out with injury.
Osimhen will likely lead the line again for Nigeria against Mexico, and he will be a handful for the Mexico defense as they bid to keep him and Nigeria’s attack quiet.
Mexico will dominate possession and control the tempo of the match. Nigeria will be pragmatic and solid as they seek to use transitions and set-piece to trouble the Mexican defense.
Mexico are favorites to win the match and gain momentum in their preparation for Qatar 2022.
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