Skip to main content

What to Expect from 'El Tri' Against Peru?

Time is running out and Martino has yet to find the winning Mexican formula.

With less than 60 days before the start of the World Cup, the Mexican team shows more doubts than certainties, with an ineffective style of play that will not be enough to go far in Qatar.

Although Mexico has not been eliminated in the first round of a World Cup since 1978 in Argentina, it will share a tough group with Argentina and Poland in November. If the situation does not improve with 'El Tri', there could be a premature return home.

Mexico will face Peru this Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and three days later, will take on Colombia at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

The real question is: what should "El Tri" work on in the next two friendly matches? Time is running out, the clock is ticking and Martino must find answers.

Lack of goal

When Mexico faces small opponents, you can see their best version. The problem is when the opposing team is organized and good defensively.

Mexico was unable to score a goal against the United States in its last three games: the Gold Cup final and two qualifying matches. Team USA is CONCACAF's toughest opponent, and Mexico has yet to hurt them.

Although they are not the same figures as before, from those generations where Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez, or Javier Borgetti and Francisco Fonseca coincided; Martino has interesting attacking weapons and has not been able to make them work.

The Argentinean coach has mostly insisted on an offensive trio formed by Hirvin Lozano, Raúl Jiménez and Jesús Corona, although the last one suffered a fractured fibula, in addition to a ligament injury in his left ankle, which means he will practically miss the World Cup.

Time is running out for Martino, who has opted for new talent such as the Argentine Funes Mori, Santiago Giménez, and Herny Martin, although the solution may lie elsewhere.

Should "Chicharito" return?

Mexico's offensive threat could change with the addition of an attacker with international experience. It is known that Carlos Vela asked Martino not to be called up to the Mexican national team, but what about "Chicharito"?

At 34 years of age, Javier Hernandez is having a great season with the LA Galaxy, scoring 15 goals and providing two assists in 29 games. When things aren't going well offensively, a player with experience and a killer instinct is capable of breaking games open, so why not bring in "Chicharito" as a replacement?

As much as Martino has repeatedly denied Hernandez's call to attend the World Cup, a poor Mexican performance against Peru and Colombia in the upcoming friendlies could force him to reconsider and change his mind.

Defining the defensive line

Since Uruguay's 3-0 thrashing of Mexico in a friendly in June, Martino has not played with a three-man defense again, as he has decided to play with four defenders at the back. In fact, the Aztecs have struggled against their recent South American opponents, failing to beat Ecuador and Paraguay.

Mexico will face one of today's most dangerous attacks in Qatar: the Argentine team. We are talking about Messi, along with players such as Di Maria, Julian Alvarez and Lautaro Martinez.

If Mexico is going to struggle defensively against Peru and Colombia, don't even imagine what Messi will do to the Aztec back line.

It is crucial for Mexico's hopes that, with these two friendlies coming up, Martino defines once and for all what his defensive line will be for Qatar.

The Argentine coach will have to choose two center backs from among Montes, Araújo, Angulo, and Moreno. On the flanks, Kevin Álvarez and Jesús Gallardo are favorites to be the wing backs.