Coach:Jose Manuel De Le Torre
Star players:Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio); Giovani Dos Santos (Mallorca); Javier Hernandez (Manchester United)
Recent form:W, D, D
Mexico enter the Confederations Cup as champions of the Concacaf region.
El Tri won the Gold Cup in 2011, storming to the final without losing a game, and then coming from behind to win the whole shebang 4-2, with a stunning strike by midfield firebrand, Giovani Dos Santos.
But that glorious moment must feel like aeons ago for Mexico and their under-pressure coach, Jose Manuel De Le Torre.
Despite a strong squad that blends defensive guile with sparkling attacking talent, Mexico are on an underwhelming run of form.
They are mired in third place on the qualifying log for the World Cup in Brazil, with Honduras just behind on goal difference. If they do not pick up the pace quickly Mexico are in danger of missing out on next year’s Samba celebration.
De Le Torre has resisted calls from Mexico’s anxious fans to quit ahead of the Confed Cup, and so he will be desperate for his team to show that they have what it takes to return to Brazil for the competition that matters most.
Alongside Japan, Mexico are not expected to make it out of Group A ahead of Brazil and European giants Italy.
They do have the players to cause an upset however.
Few may have heard of goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who plays for Ajaccio in the French top-flight. But the acrobatic 26-year-old shot stopper is rated as one of the best under the radar ‘keepers in the business, and has been linked to English giants Manchester United and Arsenal in the past.
In the outfield, Mexico can call on the attacking threats of Dos Santos, Valencia winger Andres Guardado, and most importantly, Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez.
‘Chicharito’ was top scorer at the Gold Cup, and is a valued member of Manchester United’s Premier League winning squad.
Renowned as a vicious ‘fox in the box’ style poacher, Hernandez as every style of finish in his playbook, and Mexico will rely on him to get the goals that make their Confederations Cup one to remember.