Mexico - Switzerland Preview: El Tricolor need just a draw to secure qualification
LuisTena's men require a solitary point to ensure their progression into the quarter-finals while the Swiss must go for all three points if they are to qualify
By Tom Rhodes
Salcido, Mier, Chavez, Reyes
Vidrio, Ponce, Herrera, Aquino
Peralta, Dos Santos
Klose, Rodriguez, Schar, Affolter
Frei, Zubar, Buff, Abrashi
Mexico appear to have no injury concerns ahead of their final group game, but Giovani dos Santos’ two goals against Gabon should see him start ahead of the ineffectual Marco Fabian.
Switzerland will be without Michel Morganella following his expulsion from the squad for using racist language targeted at Group B opponents South Korea on social networking site Twitter, with Francois Affolter likely to come in to deputise. Oliver Buff could also return to midfield after serving his one-match suspension.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Despite this being their 10th Olympic games Mexico are yet to claim a medal for football.
- A medal at London 2012 would see El Tricolor become the first Concacaf representative to win one.
- Giovanni dos Santos is the only player in Mexico’s 18-man squad based outside of the country, in contrast only eight of the Swiss squad are based in their native league.
- Mexico’s most-capped player at the tournament, Carlos Salcido, had a spell with Premier League side Fulham, who have Swiss midfielder Pajtim Kasami currently on their books.
- Switzerland’s only Olympic football medal came in 1924, a silver, following a 3-0 defeat to Uruguay in the final.
- This is only the third time Switzerland have qualified for the Olympic football competition.
- Switzerland coach Pierluigi Tami is assistant manager to Otmar Hitzfeld for the nation’s senior side.
- Second-choice goalkeeper Benjamin Siegist is currently contracted to Premier League side Aston Villa.
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Top 3 Predictions
Mexico U-23 2-0 Switzerland U-23
- 27.67 %
Mexico U-23 2-1 Switzerland U-23
- 23.72 %
Mexico U-23 3-1 Switzerland U-23
- 12.65 %
|Olympic Games (OLY)||1 Aug 2012||Mexico U-23 1 - Switzerland U-23 0|
|11 Aug 2012||Brazil Under 23 1 - Mexico U-23 2||OLY|
|7 Aug 2012||Mexico U-23 3 - Japan Under 23 1||OLY|
|4 Aug 2012||Mexico U-23 4 - Senegal U-23 2||OLY|
|1 Aug 2012||Mexico U-23 1 - Switzerland U-23 0||OLY|
|29 Jul 2012||Mexico U-23 2 - Gabon U-23 0||OLY|
|10||Giovani dos Santos||Striker|
|Giovani dos Santos|
Dos Santos has yet to start a game at London 2012 but will be full of confidence following his two goals from the bench in El Tricolor’s previous game against Gabon.
The product of Basel’s youth set-up, Frei was a hugely influential in his side’s Champions League progression, scoring three goals in the group stages - most notably in an exhilarating 3-3 draw at Old Trafford, which contributed to Sir Alex Ferguson’s side’s early exit from the competition.The forward-thinking right midfielder can always cause a threat, and will be keen to impress in a possibly last outing at the Olympics.
Mexico will need to avoid resting on their laurels by settling for a draw and instead may look to play on the counterattack looking to take advantage of spaces left in behind the Swiss defence. A pacy forward line fronted by an in-form Giovani dos Santos should be the difference between the two sides.