Mexico v Sweden preview

Mexico v Sweden

Of all the World Cup pools, Group F was expected to be amongst the easiest to call but Mexico blew it apart with their opening win over Germany.

A repeat success for El Tri against South Korea has put them clear at the top but remarkably, all four teams can still mathematically qualify, including Wednesday’s opponents Sweden.

Mexico 2.35 to win

It is Juan Carlos Osorio’s men who deserve to progress though and finishing top will be crucial with Brazil likely to qualify first from Group E.

A draw at 3.20 will be enough to see them through but that is not Osorio’s style. Throughout his coaching career – which included a stint as an assistant at Manchester City – the 56-year-old has shown himself to be extremely adaptable, occasionally even changing the majority of his team to suit the shape he feels will hurt the opposition.

This could well be his trump card against a rigid Sweden side, who rely on collective spirit rather than individual brilliance.

The Blugalt were seconds from a point against Germany and it is unclear how big an impact that dogged performance will have had on both their confidence and their fitness levels.

They were out on their feet in Sochi and Janne Andersson now has his work cut out ahead of the game in Yekaterinburg. He will again send his team out to be solid and will be encouraged by the fact they have kept three clean sheets in their last five.

Lozano 3.40 to score at Anytime

However, Mexico look to have too much going forward and will hardly hold back. Key to this approach has been pace on the break and Hirving Lozano has been the main man from that point of view.

The PSV Eindhoven star’s form has prompted talk of a move to Barcelona and he clearly enjoys the big stage and despite disciplinary concerns, showed a remarkably cool head to fire the winner against the Germans.

Mexico 4.75 to be eliminated in the Quarter-finals

Mexico’s inability to go beyond the last-16 has become a real burden. They have reached the knockouts in the last six World Cups, but failed to get over the first hurdle on any of those occasions.

Coming into the tournament, this current vintage did not appear to be as talented as past crops but they have exceeded expectations and appear in no mood to slow down.

Switzerland appear their likely opponents in the next round, a team themselves hoping for a first quarter-final since 1954, but going further maybe beyond them.

Mexico have only reached the last eight as hosts, in 1970 and 1986, but this could be their chance to finally end their hoodoo.