MX23RW : Sunday, April 21 06:13:37| >> :600:2536918:2536918:
[monks data]
Mexico national football team
World Cup Qualifying - North Central America | Third Round
Sep 3, 2021 at 3am UK
Jamaica national football team

2 - 1

Vega (50'), Martin (89')
Vega (21'), Alvarez (45+3')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Nicholson (65')
Burke (14')

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

Sports Mole previews Friday's World Cup Qualifying - North Central America clash between Mexico and Jamaica, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The road to Qatar begins on Thursday for Mexico, who will open their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign against Jamaica at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

El Tri are coming off a 1-0 defeat to the USA in the final of the Gold Cup, while the Reggae Boyz lost out in the quarter-final of that competition, 1-0 to the Americans.

Match preview

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

Losing to a CONCACAF side is never easy when you are Mexico, especially when it happens to be against your most hated rival (The US), who beat them in the CONCACAF Nations League final and then again in the final of the Gold Cup, winning both games in extra time.

Mexico will look to put that all of that behind them as they attempt to qualify for the World Cup finals for an eighth successive time.

Thursday will mark their return to Azteca Stadium in their first match at the historic venue since beating Panama 3-1 in a CONCACAF Nations League encounter in October 2019.

By virtue of their FIFA ranking (currently ninth in the world), El Tri got to advance straight into the final phase of qualification, but this team have still been very busy with 14 games played this year against teams within their own region, as well as Africa and Europe.

In their last World Cup qualifying campaign, Mexico had no trouble in the Hexagonal phase, losing only one of their 10 matches played and finishing on top of the standings for the first time since they qualified for the 1998 finals.

To defeat Mexico at the Azteca is a memory that will stay with you for a lifetime because it does not happen very often, in fact, no side has gotten the better of El Tri in their famous stadium since September 2013 when Honduras erased an early deficit to win 2-1 in the qualifying stage for the 2014 World Cup.

Mexico have always had a side full of flair with a knack for putting together highlight-reel goals, but with Gerardo Martino in charge we have seen them become an organized and compact defensive unit who did not concede in seven straight matches in all competitions this year before being scored on once in their Gold Cup semi-final and then in extra-time in the final.

He helped them reach the finals in 1998 as a player, and Theodore Whitmore will hope that he can bring the Jamaicans back to the World Cup for only the second time in the country's history.

The Jamaican coach and former midfielder was instrumental in their qualifying run more than 20 years ago, leading the team with five goals, and he will hope that his side can emulate his achievements internationally in qualifying this time around.

This will be the first time since their 2014 campaign that the Reggae Boyz have made it to the Hexagonal phase of qualifying, but under the leadership of Whitmore, they have performed well in CONCACAF competitions in the past.

Jamaica reached the 2017 Gold Cup final with Whitmore at the helm and the semi-finals two years later before crashing out to a late goal in the quarter-finals of the same competition earlier this year.

While those were some bitter losses for a nation that is still seeking to win something on the international stage, those performances have enabled them to have an easier path to qualifying as they were given a bye into the third round of qualification because they were one of the five highest-seeded teams in the region.

This may be the most talented group of players that Jamaica have assembled since the team of 1998, and this group will want to have the ultimate experience of getting to play at a World Cup.

The last year and a half has been a difficult one for the Reggae Boyz, who have won only two out of their last eight matches dating back to November 2019, but they have put together some good performances against El Tri, going unbeaten in their previous two games against them, maintaining a clean sheet each time.

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

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

Team News

Mexico manager Gerardo Martino on June 6, 2021© Reuters

Mexico will have some familiar faces back for this match, including goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa who was not a part of the Gold Cup side, with Alfredo Talavera starting in every match and striker Raul Jimenez is back after suffering a skull fracture last season during a nasty collision with David Luiz in a Premier League fixture with his club side Wolves.

Hector Herrera was named the best player at the 2021 Gold Cup, but the Atletico Madrid man was not named to the 28-man squad called up for this match.

Rogelio Funes Mori and Orbelin Pineda led the team in scoring at the Gold Cup with three goals each, Hirving Lozano had three goals in their 2018 qualifying campaign but is out with a head injury, while Andres Guardado needs only 11 more appearances to tie the Mexican record set by former defender Claudio Suarez.

Toronto FC defender Kemar Lawrence scored the only goal the last time these teams met, knocking the Mexicans out of the Gold Cup in the 2017 semi-finals.

Whitmore chose a relatively inexperienced squad for this encounter when it comes to international caps, with seven players making five appearances or fewer for the national team, including Watford striker Andre Gray and Derby County midfielder Ravel Morrison.

Gray and Philadelphia Union striker Cory Burke will be counted on to provide some offensive punch to this team who have failed to score in two successive matches, with their only goals at the Gold Cup coming courtesy of Buke, Shamar Nicholson, Bobby Decordova-Reid and Junior Flemmings.

Mexico possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Gallardo, Montes, Araujo, Rodriguez; Dos Santos, Alvarez, Guardado; Corona, Funes Mori, Jimenez

Jamaica possible starting lineup:
Blake; Lawrence, Moore, Lowe, Powell; Turgott, Johnson, Williams, Flemmings; Gray, Burke

SM words green background

We say: Mexico 2-0 Jamaica

The Reggae Boyz have put together some impressive results against Mexico lately, but it could be too much for them to shut down this dynamic side who will have their biggest offensive weapon in Jimenez back in the fold.

Mexico are unbeaten in their last 11 matches at the Azteca and have only conceded two goals when playing the Jamaicans on their world-renowned pitch.

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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Data Analysis

Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats up until an hour before kickoff, suggested the most likely outcome of this match was a Mexico win with a probability of 64.32%. A draw had a probability of 21.7% and a win for Jamaica had a probability of 13.95%.

The most likely scoreline for a Mexico win was 1-0 with a probability of 14.05%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome were 2-0 (13.04%) and 2-1 (9.45%). The likeliest drawn scoreline was 1-1 (10.18%), while for a Jamaica win it was 0-1 (5.49%). The actual scoreline of 2-1 was predicted with a 9.5% likelihood. Our data analysis correctly predicted that Mexico would win this match.

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Game History

How you voted: Mexico vs Jamaica

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Mexico international Hugo Sanchez in action at the World Cup on June 21, 1986.
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