Lineup Prediction: Chicharito not Likely to Start in Qualifier Against US
Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio has declared he is looking to offset the US’s notable size advantage. For Javier Hernandez, this means a return to his super-sub role which won him many fans over during his Manchester United stint. SL Benfica’s Raul Jimenez will get the nod instead.
Osorio and Mexico Captain Rafa Marquez have stated Mexico will break the trend in Columbus. Mexico is expected to take the game to the US and put pressure on the American backline. Osorio will trust the dynamic and creative players Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona, Carlos Vela and Giovani dos Santos. Linking up-top with them is Jimenez whose physical presence will be a direct threat to the US backline.
Osorio’s Mexico will go Guns Ablazing.
Osorio will look to counter USA’s size and speed.
The threat of Vela, Jimenez and Tecatito is likely to limit the forward runs by Fabian Johnson. Johnson will remain a threat, however. Andres Guardado, Jesus Dueñas and Miguel Layun are charged with isolating and disrupting Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones. This midfield trio will look to repeat the work done on Bradley by Guardado and Hector Herrera during the CONCACAF Cup victory in 2015.
While not being a fan favorite in some circles, Jesus Dueñas has been an Osorio mainstay. Dueñas has been one of Osorio’s main utility players. Using him as both a rightback and a defensive midfielder when needed. His qualities are very similar to Mexico favorite Efrain Juarez. His presence as a midfielder will give the team balance and cover the backline needs.
Mexico’s tactical flexibility under Osorio
Jurgen Damm and Javier Hernandez roles as substitutes are keys to closing out the game (Or opening it up). Damm alternate to the injured Aquino much to the chagrin of Chivas fans around the globe who preferred Isaac Brizuela. While Brizuela is having the season of his career, Damm is faster and less of a defensive liability. If the game is close expect Hernandez and Damm to join the fray in the second half looking to break the game open with direct play.