CONCACAF (Central and North American) world cup qualifying final stage starts this weekend as United States host Mexico in the opening game on Friday night, 10th November 2016 at the MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Its a massive game as two of the favorites to qualify from this region go head to head in the opening game of final stage. Both Mexico and USA are arch rivals when it comes to football and with recent presidential election and all the controversies, this game is coming just about at the right time.
MAPFRE Stadium Columbus has hosted 5 qualifying games between these two teams since 2001 and USA has never lost at this stadium against Mexico who will be hoping to finally end their drought at this venue. As the location represent overwhelming support for United States men national team we might see a packed house with little support for El Tri on friday night.
Jurgen Klinsmann has already revealed the 26 man squad for the next two games which also include away fixture against Costa Rica. A surprise inclusion into the squad is Tottenham’s youngster Cameron Carter-Vickers who might be making his debut in one of the two games. However captain and the highest goal scorer for USA in international football Clint Dempsey is ruled out for both of the next two matches.
Mexico on the other hand counting on Javier Hernandez who has rediscovered his goal scoring touch since his move to Bayer Leverkusen. Juan Carlos Osorio likes to play with a very interesting 3-3-3-1 system which cuts all sort of passing lines for opposition but it does concede space on the flanks. Rafa Marquez is expected to start in the heart of defense with Carlos Vela and Hernandez are expected to start upfront.
Match Predictions: Under Klinsmann, USMNT has become a well drilled team who often put up a good show against tough opponents. This game against Mexico holds the key who this final stage group will pan out. I am expect USMNT to produce a good showing and put Mexico under pressure from the word go. Its a 2-1 win for USA as far as I am concerned.