And so begins an exciting but challenging countdown to Qatar 2022 for the Mexico men’s team, who are not in the best shape with two wins in their last seven games. Criticizing others Three Due to a tough World Cup qualifier and lackluster performance this year, manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino and his team took one step forward and two back this month in California’s World Cup warm-up friendlies after a narrow 1 win over Peru: 0 and collapsed against Colombia in a 3-2 defeat.

Injuries have complicated matters, leaving Mexico with many unknowns as key attacking players such as Sevilla’s Jesús “Tecatito” Corona and Wolves’ Raul Jiménez will race to recover for the start of the tournament on November 22 against Poland. While Jimenez seems to have plenty of time to get back in shape, Corona’s chances seem slim and he will be re-examined by Mexico’s medical staff in early October.

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So, with time running out before the start of the World Cup, who is up for the 26-man Martino role? As an argument, and to review the full roster, we will be looking at players with short-term injuries for roster spots, but will not include Corona due to the unlikely fit for Qatar.

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Jump on: How it works | Goalkeeper levels | Tiers of protection | Center back tiers | Midfield levels | Winger levels | Attacker levels | our team

How do we do it

Given Martineau’s tendency to form 4-3-3, we have divided the analysis into six categories of positions, each of which will have four levels. The levels are influenced by the form of the players for the club and the country, their importance to the national team and many other factors.

1st level: Suggested starter. Lineup castles and players who clearly start in their positions.

Level 2: Member of the World Cup. Players are expected to be in the squad and contribute on the pitch as a starter or substitute.

Level 3: Registry Bubble. In the struggle to be on a 26-man team and provide depth to the roster.

Level 4: Not this time. Players who have been on the team, but most likely won’t get much attention for inclusion.


1st level: Guillermo Ochoa (Club America)
Level 2: Alfredo Talavera (Juarez), Rodolfo Cota (Leon)
Level 3: Carlos Acevedo (Santos Laguna)
Level 4: Luis Malagon (Necaxa), David Ochoa (DC United), Jonathan Orozco (Club Tijuana)

This is Ochoa, and then all the others. The Mexico goalkeeper at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups will once again be the best goalkeeper in Qatar. Three. Although he turned 37 in July, the Club America star was one of the most influential figures for Mexico in World Cup qualification.

With goalies, Martino tends to focus on veteran options, so it’s no wonder he includes 35-year-old Cota and 40-year-old Talavera as the last two of three workouts for the recent Mexican league. friendly matches. Cota had a good season with Leon and Talavera has a wealth of experience. However, we cannot rule out Acevedo just yet. Although the 26-year-old did not feature in the latest call-up, he has a higher ceiling than Talavera and Cota and has started three games in 2022 for Three. A powerful finish in the Apertura season, in which he was one of the tournament’s most impressive goalkeepers, could be enough to top Talavera or Cota.

Predicted choice: Ochoa, Talavera, Kota

Full back

1st level: Jorge Sanchez (Ajax), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey)
Level 2: Kevin Alvarez (Pachuca), Gerardo Arteaga (Genk)
Level 3: Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy), Emilio Lara (Club America), Luis Reyes (Atlas), Eric Aguirre (Monterrey)
Level 4: Luis Rodriguez (Tigres), Osvaldo Rodriguez (Leon), Salvador Reyes (Club America)

A recent improvement in form will allow Gallardo to remain the current starting left-back, but Arteaga is not far behind. Assuming he returns to full form soon, Sanchez should be Mexico’s starting right-back. Up-and-coming Pachuca star Alvarez had a chance to make his mark at right-back during the latest international break, but unfortunately proved to be a weak link in defense against Colombia.

The two players who probably benefited the most from Alvarez’s disturbing performance are LA Galaxy’s Araujo and Club America’s Lara. It would be a radical last-minute replacement, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Martino tried to avoid more of Alvarez’s mistakes and bring in Lara and Araujo, who weren’t in Mexico’s last squad.

Left-backs Reyes and Aguirre deserve praise for their versatility as they can fill multiple positions in the XI. However, it is more than likely that they will be Martino’s backup options at best.

Predicted choice: Sanchez, Alvarez, Gallardo, Arteaga

Central defender

1st level: Hector Moreno (Monterrey)
Level 2: Nestor Araujo (Club America), Cesar Montes (Monterrey)
Level 3: Johan Vasquez (Cremonese), Jesus Alberto Angulo (Tigers)
Level 4: Israel Reyes (Puebla), Julio Dominguez (Blue Cross), Luis Olivas (Chivas), Arturo Ortiz (Pumas)

Only one centre-back has been given a start in both of Mexico’s recent friendlies: Moreno. The 34-year-old no longer has the speed he once had, but his leadership, distribution and flying skills will make him a guaranteed starting player for the World Cup.

Together with him, Martino must choose either a more agile option with an eye for long passes, like Montes, or a more aggressive and powerful partner in Araujo. Vazquez should be a Tier 2 player on paper, but his lack of minutes in Mexico’s recent friendlies and trouble securing a Serie A starting role with Cremonese could hurt his chances. Angulo from the Tigres was a key figure for his club, but like Vazquez, he did not earn a minute at the international break. The good news for both of them is that until Martino has solidified a consistent starting defensive partnership, he may want to keep his options open and take on five centre-backs.

Predicted choice: Moreno, Araujo, Montes, Vasquez, Angulo


1st level: Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Hector Herrera (Houston Dynamo), Edson Alvarez (Ajax)
Level 2: Luis Chavez (Pachuca), Carlos Rodriguez (Blue Cross), Eric Gutierrez (PSV Eindhoven)
Level 3: Eric Sanchez (Pachuca), Luis Romo (Monterrey), Fernando Beltran (Chivas), Sebastian Cordoba (Tigers)
Level 4: Marcelo Flores (Real Oviedo), Eric Lira (Blue Cross), Alfonso Gonzalez (Monterrey)

It’s easiest to predict Mexico’s best squad is captain Guardado as left central midfielder, Herrera as right central midfielder and always reliable Alvarez sitting in the center as a defensive midfielder. The problem is that it’s not the most mobile setup for Mexico, which leaves Martino messing around with younger attacking midfielders like Gutiérrez, Chavez, Rodriguez and Sanchez.

We may even have seen signs of Mexico mixing things up earlier this month, which is more like a 4-2-3-1 with Guardado and Gutierrez as the two masters and Rodriguez as the clean No. 10. Eric Sanchez was also involved in this mix-and-match, but he spoke about failing to earn a place in the XI during recent friendlies. As for Romo, who was once the second choice for DM behind Alvarez, a recent injury won’t help him fall in form for club and country, especially when Guardado, Herrera and Gutierrez can also play as DM if needed.

Beltran remains far ahead after being left on the bench throughout the international break, and as far as Córdoba is concerned, it may be too late despite suddenly finding some form with Tigres at Apertura. A quick shout out for Flores too. The 18-year-old Arsenal academy student on loan at Real Oviedo certainly has the skill set to one day become a Mexican star, but it may be too early for him to take on World Cup responsibility. While it’s not unusual for national teams to include one or two rising stars…

Predicted choice: Save, Herrera, Gutierrez, Chavez, Rodriguez, Alvarez


1st level: Hirving Lozano (Naples)
Level 2: Alexis Vega (Chivas), Uriel Antouna (Blue Cross)
Level 3: Orbelin Pineda (AEK Athens), Diego Lines (Braga), Roberto Alvarado (Chivas)
Level 4: Alejandro Zendejas (Club America), Jordan Carrillo (Sporting Gijon), Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey), Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Assuming Corona doesn’t challenge the odds and recover ahead of the World Cup – and that Vela doesn’t challenge even higher odds and decide he wants to go to the World Cup – Mexico will be guaranteed one winger spot for Lozano. , leaving open a race of three to five players for the second starting position.

Vega was a brilliant goalscorer and goalscorer in Mexico vs. Colombia and could easily have been a starter on the left flank if Martino moved Lozano to the right. Meanwhile, Antuna brings a unique direct and counter-attacking style of play to the game. Threeon the front line, making it at least a backup.

Pineda and Laines are also involved in the conversation. Pineda thrives overseas with AEK Athens and is a perfect game changer off the bench with his creative play. Laines, who currently plays at Braga, is the player with the most risky Corona-like characteristics, though Martino would probably prefer him to get a starting role at Braga in Portugal ahead of the World Cup.

Alvarado is also an interesting option. Martino gave him a head start, with the idea that he would help with more customization and gameplay, but he wasn’t as determined or influential as he should have been. Unfortunately for Zendejas’ fans, behind-the-scenes disagreements over his status on the national team have kept him out of recent call-ups. The 24-year-old Mexican-American has been one of Liga MX’s top players this season, but first he needs to address his documentation issues that have left him behind the scenes.

Predicted choice: Lozano, Vega, Pineda, Antuna, Lines


1st level:
Level 2:
Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Henry…