Possible Mexico starting lineup for game 2 of the group stage vs Argentina
After drawing with Poland in their opening World Cup clash, Mexico’s second Group C fixture sees them face Argentina at Lusail Stadium.
In the hours before Saturday’s Group C clash with Argentina, a number of possible Mexico lineups have been leaked to the media.
Five-man defence with no strikers?
Late on Friday, AS was told that Mexico boss Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino’s plan is to play with a back five, comprising Jesús Gallardo, Héctor Moreno, César Montes, Néstor Araujo and Kevin Álvarez. Andrés Guardado would start alongside Héctor Herrera and Luis Chávez in midfield, and Martino would do without an out-and-out striker up front. Alexis Vega would partner Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano.
It’s by no means beyond the bounds of possibility, because Mexico also went striker-less against Paraguay at the start of September. However, although El Tri played well in the first half, they were unable to get on the scoresheet in a 1-0 friendly defeat - so there have to be doubts about whether Martino really will persist with such a set-up.
And this all ties in with something Martino said to the media on Friday, as he looked ahead to Mexico’s clash against his native country. Discussing the conflict between his possession-first philosophy and finding other ways of winning the game, he conceded: “Getting a result comes first.” He added: “The importance of this game is not lost on me, or that both teams’ [World Cup] futures depend on what happens on Saturday.”
Conflicting info coming out on potential Mexico team
The journalists covering Mexico will all have their sources, but it appears that there is a degree of smoke and mirrors at play; those within the national-team fold are well aware that Argentinian reporters will seek out their Mexican colleagues for information on Martino’s expected team.
Against this backdrop, several potential Mexico XIs have emerged ahead of the clash at Lusail Stadium. Against Poland, Martino went with Guillermo Ochoa, Moreno, Montes, Gallardo, Jorge Sánchez, Edson Álvarez, Herrera, Chávez, Lozano, Vega and Henry Martín.
As AS has reported since early on Friday, this newspaper expects Sánchez, Martín, Herrera and Chávez to drop to the bench, with Gerardo Arteaga, Rogelio Funes Mori, Guardado and Carlos Rodríguez coming in.
Possible Mexico lineup vs Argentina:
Ochoa, Moreno, Montes, Gallardo, Arteaga, Álvarez, Guardado, Rodríguez, Lozano, Vega and Funes Mori.