MX23RW : Sunday, January 16 17:32:06| >> :600:5450222:5450222:

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

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

First place in the final stage of CONCACAF qualifying for World Cup 2022 will be up for grabs when Panama host Mexico on Wednesday from Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez.

Los Canaleros grabbed a valuable three points away from home over the weekend, blanking Jamaica 3-0, while the Mexicans have a 100% record thus far after beating Costa Rica 1-0.


Match preview

Panama's Adolfo Machado celebrates scoring his side's equaliser against Brazil on March 23, 2019© Reuters

The Panamanians put on another solid performance in the third round of CONCACAF qualifying but were a lot more clinical in front of goal versus the Reggae Boyz than they were in their opener against Los Ticos.

Thomas Christiansen saw his side go after the Jamaicans from the opening whistle, and they did not stop, firing six shots on target and handing them their first defeat at home since September 2016.

Christiansen has to be pleased with how well his defence have played in this round so far after a shaky Gold Cup campaign, where they conceded seven goals in three matches.

They held the Costa Ricans without a shot on target in their opening match of this qualifying round and then conceded only six shots total in another shutout versus Jamaica.

Earning four points from two games puts this team in a decent position, but if they learned anything from their previous campaign, it would be not to get too comfortable, as they were in the same spot in the final stage of qualifying for the 2018 finals before going winless in five straight games.

Playing probably the toughest team in CONCACAF next in Mexico could be just what they need to maintain their focus, as you would not think that they would be overlooking a side who they have not beaten in a competitive game since 2013, not to mention the fact that they have only scored three goals against El Tri in their last 10 encounters with them.

Luis Romo of Mexico celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on July 31, 2021© Reuters

After two games in this qualifying stage, Gerardo Martino and his Mexican side have taken care of business, winning both of their matches quite comfortably.

They have only allowed two shots on target in both of their games so far, and even though each of those victories were only by a single goal, they rarely looked vulnerable in transition or susceptible to conceding.

Mexico have been at this point of qualifying so many times that it has almost become like a routine day at the office for them, and they instinctively always seem to know what to do, and so far, there is no reason to believe that this team will not be on the path to another finals appearance.

In the final stage of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, the Mexicans were humbled by Panama in their second game, as they were held to zero shots on target in Panama City, firing only six shots total, despite having 72% of the possession.

Mexico will likely expect a defensive-minded approach once again from the Panamanians on Wednesday, but they should be well-equipped to deal with it given that most of their regulars are available, and they faced seemingly a wall of defenders behind the ball in their first two matches at the Gold Cup.

El Tri have usually been able to make it beyond this stage of qualifying quite comfortably, though it is not uncommon to see them suffer an early setback.

If they can win this game, it would mark the first time that this side have won their opening three matches in the final qualifying round since their 1978 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Panama World Cup Qualifying - North Central America form:
  • D
  • W

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

Mexico World Cup Qualifying - North Central America form:
  • W
  • W

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



Team News

Panama manager Thomas Christiansen pictured in 2018© Reuters

Striker Cecilio Waterman scored the third goal for Panama versus Jamaica on Sunday, as he leads the team with four in the qualifying stages, while Andres Andrade scored his first international goal in only his 11th appearance for the senior side and Rolando Blackburn picked up his first of this campaign.

Luis Mejia stopped all three shots that he faced for his second successive clean sheet, and Azmahar Ariano came on as a substitute in their last match, making his first appearance at this stage of the competition and earning only his sixth international cap.

Adalberto Carrasquilla and Eric Davis each picked up an assist in their match against Jamaica, while Yoel Barcenas made a second successive start in the midfield and his third appearance for the national team.

On Sunday, Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa collected his first clean sheet since June 30, when his side defeated Panama in a friendly, 3-0.

In that same encounter, defender Cesar Montes scored his first international goal, while Henry Martin has developed a knack for scoring late goals, netting in the 90th minute in that friendly with Panama and getting the winner in their opening game victory last week versus Jamaica.

Julio Cesar Dominguez took the place of Jorge Sanchez in their match against Costa Rica, while Andres Guardado, Carlos Rodriguez and Jesus Corona replaced Roberto Alvarado, Sebastian Cordova and Luis Romo.

Panama possible starting lineup:
Mejia; Davis, Andrade, Escobar, Murillo; Godoy; Ayarza, Barcenas, Carrasquilla, Yanis; Blackburn

Mexico possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Gallardo, Araujo, Montes, Sanchez; Alvarez; Alvarado, Guardado, Rodriguez, Corona, Funes Mori


SM words green background

We say: Panama 0-0 Mexico

Look for the Mexicans to have the bulk of the possession, with several Panama players likely to be surrounding them for most of the game.

They did not show it in the Gold Cup, but Panama are actually quite comfortable and capable of defending, and they can do it effectively as they have done in this qualifying campaign, already maintaining six clean sheets.



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


ID:462561:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect12743:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole's daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!


How you voted: Panama vs Mexico

Panama
14.2%
Draw
17.7%
Mexico
68.1%
113
Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
England's Jude Bellingham celebrates after the match on June 13, 2021
Read Next:
Jordan Henderson says Jude Bellingham is 'miles ahead' of where he was aged 18
>
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Africa Cup of Nations
Supercopa de Espana
Championship
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
Copa del Rey
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Liga MX
Australian A-League
Premier League 2 - Div 2
International Friendlies
Women's Super League
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City22182254134156
2Liverpool21136255183745
3Chelsea22127345172843
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham22114741301137
5Arsenal2011273325835
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs1810352320333
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd209563229332
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves209471715231
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2061042121028
10Leicester CityLeicester187473133-225
11Crystal Palace215973031-124
12Southampton215972533-824
13Aston Villa2072112732-523
14Brentford2165102433-923
15Leeds UnitedLeeds205782439-1522
16Everton1954102434-1019
17Watford1942132337-1414
18Norwich CityNorwich2134141045-3513
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2019102043-2312
20Burnley171881627-1111

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Match previews - Daily
Transfer Talk Daily
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!