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Preview: Mexico vs. Honduras - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's International Friendlies clash between Mexico and Honduras, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Honduras will look to win consecutive games against Mexico for the first time in their footballing history when both sides face each other in a friendly on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The Mexicans suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat in extra time to the United States in the CONCACAF Nations League final last weekend, while Honduras were able to claim third place in that competition by beating Costa Rica 5-4 on penalties after the match ended in a 2-2 draw.


Match preview

Mexico manager Gerardo Martino on June 6, 2021© Reuters

An impressive campaign in the Nations League group stage for Mexico was tarnished last Sunday when Christian Pulisic scored from the penalty spot with six minutes to play in extra time to help the US claim the first trophy in the history of that competition.

El Tri will consider that match a wasted opportunity, as they had the lead twice but failed to close it out in a campaign that saw them win all four of their group games and their semi-final match versus Costa Rica, conceding only three goals in that stretch.

Losing has been very rare for Mexico since Gerardo Martino became national team manager in 2019, with this side losing only three times since he took over.

As they get set for the CONCACAF Gold Cup next month, the Argentinian coach will want his side to remain sharp against the Hondurans, who gave the Americans all they could handle in the Nations League semis before claiming the bronze medal.

Prior to their defeat last Sunday, the Mexicans had only suffered one setback in their previous nine fixtures, a 1-0 defeat to Wales in a friendly in Cardiff, back on March 27.

Honduras goalkeeper Luis Lopez makes a save in penalty shoutout on June 7, 2021© Reuters

After finishing on the podium in a major competition for the first time since claiming third place at the 2009 Gold Cup, Honduras will fancy their chances against a Mexican team that may still be reeling from a devastating Nations League defeat.

Historically Los Catrachos have not fared well against Mexico, even though they did come away with a 3-2 victory in their last meeting against them in 2017, thanks to a 60th-minute strike from Romell Quioto in a World Cup qualifying match.

That victory ended a six-match winless run against the Mexicans, but ultimately they still failed to qualify for the World Cup, losing in a playoff to Australia.

Manager Fabian Coito will hope that his team can get some more game experience heading into the Gold Cup and earn some positive results, something they have failed to do over the past year-and-a-half.

His side have only played in seven matches since the pandemic in the spring of 2020, and they have not won a game in regulation time since beating Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 back in November of 2019, in the Nations League group stage.

Mexico International Friendlies form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Mexico form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Honduras International Friendlies form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L

Honduras form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W



Team News

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa (13) celebrates with forward Hirving Lozano (22) and defender Luis Rodriguez (21) and forward Alan Pulido (11) after defeating Costa Rica on penalty kicks during the semifinals of the 2021 CONCACAF Nations League soccer s© Reuters

FC Porto midfielder Jesus Corona returned from a muscle injury sustained back in early May and scored the opening goal in their Nations League final defeat last weekend.

Wolves striker Raul Jimenez will remain on the sidelines as he is still recovering from a skull fracture which caused him to miss out on most of the Premier League campaign, following a clash of heads with David Luiz.

Captain Andres Guardado needs just 12 more caps to overtake Claudio Suarez for most all-time in Mexican football history.

Honduras striker Alberth Elis scored his first international goal since 2019 in their third-place victory over Costa Rica last Sunday.

He scored the opener the last time his country faced Mexico back in that World Cup qualifier which they won in 2017.

Midfielder Boniek Garcia has only featured in two games for his country over the past four years but he did play in the final 16 minutes plus stoppage time in their semi-final defeat to the United States.

The Houston Dynamo veteran is fourth in all-time appearances for Honduras with 127, which is still well behind his Honduran teammate Maynor Figueroa, who leads the way with 167 caps.

Mexico possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Moreno, Romo, Arteaga; Gallardo, C. Rodriguez, Pineda, L. Rodriguez; Corona, H. Lozano, Pulido

Honduras possible starting lineup:
L. Lopez; Alvarez, Pereira, Figueroa, D. Rodriguez; A. Lopez, Flores, Acosta, E. Rodriguez; A. Lozano, Elis


SM words green background

We say: Mexico 2-0 Honduras

The Mexicans have never lost consecutive matches against Honduras and they have not suffered back-to-back defeats since they lost their last three friendlies of 2018.

Honduras have not beaten El Tri outside of San Pedro Sula since 2013, failing to score a goal in their last four matches played against them in either Mexico or the US.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Mexico vs Honduras

Mexico
90.2%
Draw
5.9%
Honduras
3.9%
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Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

ATHLETICS
· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

SAILING
· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

TENNIS
· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

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