Mexico is coming off a 3-1 at home against Guyana. Although Mexico claimed three points, fans were a bit disappointed Mexico didn’t give Guyana a complete drubbing. However, Mexico must put the game in the back of their minds, because a bigger test awaits them on Tuesday. Here are the three top storylines to watch for as Mexico travels to El Salvador…
1) Will the hostile environment play with Mexico’s confidence?
El Salvador may not always be on top of the CONCACAF standings, but when they play at home, traveling teams can have major problems. Estadio Cuscatlan is a very intimidating stadium for away teams to play in. The stadium holds 45,000+ and is very loud to say the least. The fans are very close to the field, and anything they say…the Mexicans will hear. Mexico is a definite favorite for this match, yet Mexico cannot write El Salvador off too easily. The last time Mexico played at Estadio Cuscatlan, they fell 1-2. However, it is a completely new era for Mexican football…it is now up to Mexico to make that known to CONCACAF opponents in World cup qualifying.
2) Who will be the starting striker?
Against Guyana, Chepo de la Torre played a little with formations putting Chicharito and Aldo de Nigris both upfront. With some teams it may work…but it wasn’t spectacular against Guyana. Most likely, Mexico will go back to a 4-2-3-1 formation, which means it will leave one striker up top. Chicharito may be the instinct pick, yet El Salvador may struggle with a big striker like de Nigris. It may also help throw off El Salvador’s rhythm subbing Chicharito in the second. There is no doubt that Chicharito will play a big role in the game, it’ll just depend on when.
3) Giovani will once again be the X-factor
Gio has collected three goals in the last four matches for Mexico. When he gets on a roll, he sets up the energy Mexico needs to beat just about anyone. As mentioned, heading into a very hostile environment means a leader needs to emerge…and that guy has to be Giovani. Look for him to make his presence known against La Selecta.
This is where Mexico needs to crank up the energy, continue with confidence, and walk away with three points. The difficulty of the game should depend on Mexico, as they proved last year at the 2011 Gold cup defeating El Salvador 5-0. The match will begin 9:30 P.M. (EST).