Miguel Herrera has picked his side to face Cameroon on Friday according to reports and there is no place for Manchester United striker, Javier Hernández, perhaps not so surprisingly, but also for León midfielder, Carlos ‘Gullit’ Peña. It would also appear that Guillermo Ochoa will line up in goal after some uncertainty over Herrera’s number one.
If México lineup as expected, the team on Friday will be Guillermo Ochoa in goal, the three central defenders, Rafael Márquez, Francisco ‘Maza’ Rodríguez and Héctor Moreno, adding the width to the 5-3-2 system, Paul Aguilar and Miguel Layún, in midfield, José Juan Vázquez, Héctor Herrera and Andrés Guardado and finally up front, Giovani dos Santos and Oribe Peralta.
The decision in goal came down to a straight choice between Ochoa and Jose de Jesus Corona with Herrera mentioning that Ochoa is the better shot stopper but Corona the better of the two with the ball at his feet. Although there was much debate over this decision there are few who would be strongly against Ochoa taking the number one spot.
The defence doesn’t appear to have been too much of a headache for Herrera given that Rafa Márquez’s injury scare came to nothing and so Diego Reyes losing his place is the only thing of note. Aguilar and Layún are of obvious importance in Herrera’s system. The wing-backs provide El Tri with all their width and in a side that looks to break forward at speed rather than dictate possession they both play a vital role. Layún, in particular, from his position on the left and cutting inside onto his right gives México an added goal threat.
Midfield has undoubtedly been more complicated given the injuries to Juan Carlos Medina and Luís Montes and the drop off in form from the previously red hot, Carlos Peña.
José Juan Vázquez will shield the defence and although he is undoubtedly not Herrera’s first choice, the lack of viable options after injuries sees him as the only natural pick for the position. That being said, Vázquez knows the role and the expectations and has an excellent engine.
Accompanying him in the centre will be Héctor Herrera and Andrés Guardado. Both will be expected to get forward and support the attack but equally track back and offer defensive cover in the middle to avoid getting overrun.
Finally, in attack, Herrera has opted for Villarreal’s, Giovani dos Santos over Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández. Hernández looked woefully short of confidence in the friendlies and could provide a decent option off the bench but not in the starting eleven.
Dos Santos, meanwhile, was decent in this unfamiliar system and showed the responsibility and tactical awareness to support Peralta and busy the opposition defence. This pressing will be an important role as will not dropping too deep and occupying the space that Herrera and Guardado will be looking to exploit.
With just days until the opening match against Cameroon the wait is almost over and México remain a little bit of an unknown. Herrera’s system should be attractive enough on the eye with it’s pacy attacking options but it’s success will only be judged on results.