mercoledì 11 giugno 2014

Mexico unpredictable 3-5-2

For the third consecutive World Cup, Mexico will play a back three. Although Mexico want to play offensively, trying to retain ball possession, they will try to produce this out from a 5-3-2, a system not usually linked with proactive game. But the way Mexico will play this formation make it more like a 3-5-2 than a 5-3-2. Miguel Herrera, the fourth different coach to take charge of El Tri after a troubled qualifying tournament, likes to fill his starting lineup with a high number of attacking midfielders in the same way of his predecessor, Argentinian Ricardo La Volpe. Herrera is an offensive-minded coach and wants his team attacking. A more defensive tactics is expected against Brazil. All that said, after have been eliminated at the second round of every World Cup between 1994 and 2010, Mexico’s goal is to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1986, when they were the World Cup’s hosts. Appointed just before the play-off against New Zealand, Herrera had few time to make changes into the troubled Mexican side. He beat New Zealand relying on Mexican-based players, waiting to be sure to get the World Cup qualification before to fuel his side with the European talents. For the fourth consecutive World Cup, Rafael Marquez will play a key role into this side. Former Bacelona’s defender lost some of his pace, but he’s still able to lead the backline, playing as spare-man and leading the two center-backs playing at his side,  thanks to his increased knowledge of the game. Francisco Rodriguez and Hector Moreno should be the starting markers selected to play alongside Marquez. Both are good, mobile center-back, but both too are prone to mistakes so Mexican back three could easily show a good level of insecurity. Diego Reyes is another option over there. As for the netminder, fans’ favourite Guillermo Ochoa is a better option although José de Jesús Corona, a gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, still got the edge. Paul Aguilar will play the right-wingback role while there is a bigger incertitude on who will start on the left-side. Veteran Carlos Salcido should be Herrera’s pick but both Miguel Layún and Andrés Guardado have some chances to start there. The midfield is the area with more question marks. Porto’s midfielder Hector Herrera should occupy the central spot while the other two midfielders are unpredictable. Jose Vazquez is an option but Herrera likes Juan Carlos Medina as they worked together at América. Should Herrera opt for a more defensive side, Carlos Peña could share the holding midfielder’s duty with Hector Herrera. Otherwise, should the Mexican coach line up just one holder flanked by two more offensive teammates, Luis Montes and Guardado remain as the main options. Guardado is a likeble dribbler and could add offensive flair should he start in the middle of the pitch while Montes knows well Peña as they both play for León. Upfront, the only almost sure thing is that Herrera has made Javier Hernandez expendable. The Manchester United forward doesn’t appear fit enough after a season mostly spent on the bench. So the duty to be fielded up top paired to the finisher Oribe Peralta should happen to Giovani dos Santos. Former Mexican star club career hit up and downs but  Dos Santos remain one of the best Mexican talent you have heard of. He had a good season with Villarreal as he showed flashes of the past form he enjoyed during the successful 2012 Olympics campaign. Both Dos Santos and Peralta have a lot of speed and their main tool is the ability to exploit the space behind the opposite’s backline. At the end, this is not a bad side. It is a typical Mexican team: a mistake-prone defensive unit paired to a gifted midfield section and to an attack with skills. Brazil aside, Mexico’s group, one that includes Cameroon and Croatia, appears tough but not impossible. They could be able to get the knockout stage.

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