Mexico and Uruguay will go into tomorrow’s fixture knowing that draw will ensure both qualify for the next round and condemn the French to a humiliating early, exit. In the event of a tie both teams will finish with 5 points but Uruguay will top Group A with a superior goal difference (courtesy of their 3-0 triumph over hosts, South Africa).
However, the prize is even greater for the Group A winner as the reward will probably be a match against either South Korea or Greece as runner –up in Group B whereas the runner up in Group A will face the might of an impressive Argentina as winners of Group A.
So although both teams may want to err on the side of caution, play out a mutually, beneficial stalemate and ensure competition in the last 16 they should have eye on further progression and how easy they can make this path. This will be especially prevalent in Mexican minds as in Germany 2006 they suffered the heartbreak of last 16 elimination to none other than Argentina courtesy of a late strike from Maxi Rodriguez. They will not want to suffer this again.
Mexican coach, Javier Aguirre is fully aware of the consequences of Tuesday’s result and wholly dismissive of any notion of a conspiracy by both teams citing;
“Tomorrow we’re going to try and win, we can be first, second, third or even fourth in the group. The law of the Mexican side is to win.
Mexico are riding high after a historic, first ever win against pre-tournament Group A favourites France. “El Tri”were simply brilliant in their 2-0 triumph last Thursday. Despite having inferior players to the French superstars the Central Americans over-rode the Europeans in terms of enthusiasm, passing ability and all round play. In the end it was the substitutes that had the major bearing on the match. Youngster, Javier Hernandez exploded onto the World Cup with a beautiful solo effort to take the lead, then Pablo Barrera was scythed in the box leaving veteran Cuauhtémoc Blanco to seal the points.
For this game Javier Aguirre cannot afford to rest players but will probably miss an injured Carlos Vela and definitely lose a suspended Efrain Juarez. As a result Hernandez should replace Vela and join an impressive Giovani Dos Santos in attack. Guillermo Franco has been largely, ineffective as a goal threat and Barrera should also start the game instead of a previous substitute.
The midfield should compromise of Captain Gerardo Torrado alongside Rafeal Marquez who has been a pivotal figure for Mexico in defence and attack. The midfield trio should be completed with Andres Guardado replacing Juarez on the left side.. The defence should remain as Salcido, Rodriguez,Moreno and Osorio with veteran goal-keeper Oscar Perez remaining between the sticks.
Uruguay should remain unchanged from the side that beat South Africa and their main threat shall come in attack and the undoubted quality of Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez.
Match prediction : Mexico 2 – 1 Uruguay
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