Following a pair of disappointing results to commence their respective 2010 World Cup campaigns, both France and Mexico will look to get back on track when they clash on June 17th. France got off to a sluggish start in a draw to an inferior Uruguay side, whereas Mexico had to scramble for a point against the lowly host country, South Africa. In a group where all four teams enter the next wave of games tied on points, escaping this match with an outright victory will surely be the difference between qualifying, and going home early.
Mexico vs France Betting Odds:
Over 2 (+110)
Under 2 (-125)
French skipper Patrice Evra recently stressed the importance of his squad’s upcoming fixture versus the Mexicans. “It’s a game you have to win. We don’t want to go into our last game having to beat the home side on their turf.” France faces a tough situation against Mexico, especially when you consider the shocking lack of goals their talented lineup has produced. Coach Raymond Domenech has stressed that the chances have existed, yet his side are devoid of any finish at the moment. That will have to change for a positive result against a potent Mexican offense.
Like their French adversaries, Mexico is also aware of the vitality of their upcoming clash. Their captain Gerardo Torrado knows at the World Cup there are no easy matches, but going against a world-class lineup such as Les Bleus of France will present a significant challenge for his side. Mexico clearly out-classed the host South Africans in their opening fixture, but a few glaring mistakes forced them to scramble simply for a late 1-1 draw. El Tri will have to turn in a much more concerted effort spanning over a full 90 minutes to secure a crucial three points in their quest for advancement.
Keys to the Game:
For France, they must forget about their poor performance against Uruguay. They appeared to lack any passion, and were out of sync as an 11-man unit for the majority of their opening match. It is imperative for the squad to ignore the overwhelming criticism and focus on bringing their lethal attack to life against Mexico. They possess world-class talent up front, and the likes of Ribery, Anelka, Henry, Gourcuff, and Govou will have to capitalize on their chances against a staunch Mexican backline. Domenech’s substitutions in the previous match did nothing to help a struggling attack. The oft-criticized boss brought on forward Andre-Pierre Grignac who was tentative and one-dimensional in his movements. Domenech should give the always dangerous Thierry Henry a much greater role in the French attack, as they look to secure a vital 3 points.
Mexico will try to feed off the blatant dysfunction emanating from the French camp. The squad would be wise in adopting star striker Carlos Vela’s “kill or be killed” mentality pertaining to this fixture. Vela and his co-striker Giovanni Dos Santos looked dangerous throughout their opening match versus South Africa, but added help may still be on the way. Mexican bench boss Javier Aguirre is expected to insert the talented 22-year-old Javier Hernandez into his squad for the France fixture. The blessed attacker already has 7 goals in just 13 games for his national side, and the future is bright for the youngster as he plans to join Manchester United upon the culmination of the World Cup. Captain Rafael Marquez is facing an injury concern as he hurt his right calf in the match against South Africa, but has looked alright in recent training sessions, and should play a prominent role in halting the French advances.
What to Expect:
France and Mexico certainly were not pleased with their opening fixtures. This clash will be a telling match for both sides in terms of where they stand within a difficult Group A. Heading into the World Cup, it was perceived that these two countries would advance, although South Africa and Uruguay have proven they can match these perceived powerhouses. Both squads would ideally love the full three points of a victory here, yet it seems as if France are too immersed in disarray to achieve anything of substance in South Africa. The recent criticisms from French soccer hero Zinedine Zidane have placed unnecessary negativity on a side struggling with cohesion. Expect Mexico to show no sympathy for a dysfunctional French squad, and look for their new offensive adjustments to spur El Tri to an impressive victory.
Mexico vs France Match Prediction: Mexico 2 – France 1
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