Mexico take part in their final pre-World Cup friendly when they travel to face fellow qualifiers Denmark in Brondby on Saturday (2pm ET).
Mexico signed off in front of their own supporters with a 1-0 win against Scotland on Saturday. Giovani Dos Santos scored the only goal of the game as El Tri were unable to make their dominance of possession (64%) and shots (34 to four) count further on the scoreboard.
Coach Juan Carlos Osorio was on the receiving end of boos from the crowd inside the Estadio Azteca. Despite overseeing a strong qualification campaign, he remains unpopular with seemingly large sections of the Mexican support. The primary complaints seem to be that he over-intellectualizes the game and that his rotation policy hinders team chemistry.
Osorio is highly unlikely to continue at the helm of the national team after Russia 2018. He has already received offers, including some from Europe. He has, however, suggested that a particularly strong performance could persuade him to stay. In Mexico’s case that would mean progressing past the last 16 – their limit in each of their last six World Cup campaigns.
Mexico’s final squad for Russia 2018 was confirmed on Monday, with few surprises. Andres Guardado, Diego Reyes and Hector Moreno were all included despite the fact that they are carrying injuries of varying severity. As expected, Oswaldo Alanis, Jesus Molina, Erick Gutierrez and Jurgen Damm were the four players who missed out.
With the group now set, Saturday’s match will provide Osorio with an opportunity to fine-tune things ahead of Mexico’s World Cup debut against holders Germany on June 17th. The main doubt is who will be the central defensive midfielder. Edson Alvarez is a potential option, but it most likely that Hector Herrera will reprise the role he performed against Scotland.
Denmark were presumably programmed in to provide an approximation of what Mexico will face against their group-stage opponents Sweden, who they meet on June 27th in what could well be the match that decides which of the two teams progresses to the knockout stages. There are certain stylistic differences, but it isn’t a bad reference point for that fixture.
Denmark are also preparing to take part in Russia 2018. They were not involved in Brazil four years ago but are back at the World Cup this time around after thrashing the Republic of Ireland 5-1 in their qualification playoff last November. Their reward is a place in Group C, where they will likely battle with Peru and Australia for second place behind France.
Christian Eriksen scored a hat-trick against Ireland and the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder is undoubtedly the star of a Danish team that if not specifically built around him, does provide him a solid platform to conduct operations. Denmark have rapid wide outlets to stretch play and find space in behind, including the tricky Celta Vigo winger Pione Sisto.
Denmark are capable of meting out thrashings on their day, as they did to the Republic of Ireland and to Poland, Armenia and Kazakhstan earlier in the qualification process, but their attack is often less productive. Their last two friendlies, against Chile and Sweden, have ended in 0-0 draws, and they have scored one or less goals in six of their last seven matches.
Age Hareide’s side are, however, quite strong defensively. They have conceded just 11 times in their last 18 full internationals (discounting the two friendlies they played in January with a weakened squad). The experience of captain Simon Kjaer and the commanding presence of Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel are key elements in a decent defensive unit.
Our Preview’s Denmark vs. Mexico Betting Picks & Predictions Verdict
Given that Mexico have kept clean sheets in five of their last six internationals and only once scored more than a single goal themselves in that time, the stage seems set for a relatively low-scoring match. While there is always the possibility that second-half substitutions will open things up, the initial balance is unlikely to yield a stream of chances at either end.
Mexico have a solid chance of taking victory, but a draw is also a highly possible result. So in the battle with the United States’ internet bookies, this is our one advised wager on the match:
- Bet on Mexico to win on the ‘draw no bet’ market @ +130 with Bovada.