MX23RW : Wednesday, June 16 11:31:58| >> :600:477925:477925:
May 30, 2021 at 2am UK at AT&T Stadium
Lozano (73', 78')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Alvarez (14' og.)
Mar Saevarsson (30'), Aron Gudjohnsen (75')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's International Friendly clash between Mexico and Iceland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Ahead of their CONCACAF Nations League campaign next month, Mexico are set to face Iceland in Texas, on Sunday.

El Tri return to the United States for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic brought Central America to a standstill last year and will meet the experienced European side at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Match preview

Mexico head coach Gerardo Martino pictured in September, 2019© Reuters

Currently world-ranked 11th, Mexico will travel to the home of the Dallas Cowboys this weekend, as they prepare for their upcoming semi-final clash with Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Nations League.

Thousands of passionate fans - recently starved of the chance to support their heroes in the flesh - will be allowed inside the stadium this Saturday, as Texas has eased public health restrictions.

The last time the Mexicans were able to entertain their dedicated diaspora in the United States came as long ago as September 2019, when coach Gerardo Martino suffered his first defeat since taking the reins - a 4-0 loss to his native Argentina.

More recently, Mexico took part in friendlies during the March international break: losing against Wales in Cardiff before bouncing back to beat Costa Rica 1-0 in Austria, courtesy of a late goal from Napoli winger Hirving Lozano. That reverse in Wales, therefore, remains El Tri's only defeat from their last 12 outings and one of just two in their last 24.

Depending on the result of their next competitive game - following Sunday's warm-up against Iceland - they will then play either the Nations League final or the third place match in Colorado, before meeting Honduras and Panama in preparation for the Gold Cup.

The most notable inclusion among Martino's squad list for these games was surely the return of Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez, who suffered a serious head injury last November and has not featured for the Premier League side since.

While Jimenez has joined training with his national team colleagues, he is set to depart the camp without playing, with fellow high-profile forward Javier Hernandez - Mexico's record scorer and already with seven goals in MLS so far - also absent from the former Barcelona coach's plans again.

Iceland coach Arnar Vidarsson pictured on March 28, 2021© Reuters

Last time out, in March, struggling Iceland tasted the sweet relief of thumping little Liechtenstein 4-1, having been on a dismal run of seven straight defeats - with only a solitary goal being scored in the process. In fact, the Icelanders had lost their three previous games - to England, Armenia and Germany - by an aggregate score of nine goals to nil.

This weekend, Arnar Vidarsson's side will not only look to build upon their return to goalscoring ways, but also seek to score a first ever goal versus their Mexican counterparts.

In the most recent encounter between these two very different nations, in a March 2018 friendly, Mexico emerged 3-0 winners - thanks to a goal from Marco Fabian and Miguel Layun's second-half double.

Having faced the Central Americans four times in total, Iceland are still in search of a first-ever victory, with two goalless draws and two defeats being their previous results.

A positive outcome in Texas - before a further opportunity to regroup from recent setbacks with a match against the Faroe Islands next week - would therefore help Vidarsson and company recover from a terrible Nations League campaign and their slack start to World Cup qualifying, where they sit fifth in a six-team section.

A whole raft of Under-21 team talent has been promoted to Iceland's ageing squad ahead of this summer's games, as missing out on Euro 2020 gives the recent overachievers a chance to rebuild away from the spotlight.

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

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

Team News

Mexico midfielder Diego Lainez pictured in March 2019© Reuters

Of the original 31 players called up by Gerardo Martino for Mexico's training camp, several have been trimmed. As expected, Raul Jimenez has not been cleared to play by Wolves after failing to make the bench for their final Premier League game last week.

In his continued absence, since fracturing his skull last November, Porto's Jesus Corona and Serie A star Hirving Lozano are expected to lead the attack.

Diego Lainez of Real Betis was also omitted from the final squad, as along with Sebastian Cordova and Roberto Alvarado, he is instead in contention for a place in the Olympic squad. On the other hand, Uriel Antuna, Carlos Rodriguez and Jorge Sanchez - all eligble for the Olympics due to their age - have been retained and could feature on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Cesar Montes suffered an injury in Monterrey's final Liga MX match against Santos, so has been ruled out.

Iceland trio Kari Arnason, Arn­or Trausta­son and Ragnar Sigurdsson have all withdrawn from the squad for the trip to the U.S.

However, a number of Under-21 internationals have been included, with manager Arnar Vidarsson set to overhaul his squad ahead of next season's World Cup qualifiers.

OB striker Sveinn Aron Gudjohnsen - son of former Chelsea forward Eidur - is among the younger members of the selection, and could start alongside Milwall's Jon Dadi Bodvarsson up front, though Kolbeinn Sigthorsson - with 26 international goals to date - is also a strong contender.

Mexico possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Sanchez, Salcedo, Alvarez, Gallardo; Guardado, Herrera, Gutierrez; Lozano, Martin, Corona

Iceland possible starting lineup:
Runarsson; Saevarsson, Fjoluson, Hermannsson, Sampstead; Bjarnason, Johannesson, Gunnarson; Gudmundsson, Gudjohnsen, Bodvarsson

SM words green background

We say: Mexico 2-0 Iceland

Iceland's recent struggles in front of goal could continue on American soil, as even an influx of fresh talent has failed to turn things around of late - particularly in the final third.

As the Mexico squad are playing for places in both the Nations League finals and July's Gold Cup, they will not only boast the greater individual quality, but also the motivation to go for a win.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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Raul Jimenez lies unconscious during the game between Arsenal and Wolves on November 29, 2020
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