Mexico vs Iceland: Live stream, starting lineup, kickoff time & match preview

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El Tri face the fellow World Cup-bound squad in the first of a pair of March tune-ups

It's the beginning of the end.

Mexico's final two matches before the club season ends and manager Juan Carlos Osorio names his World Cup squad take place this month.

First up, it's Iceland, a team qualified for the World Cup and also looking to get in top form.

The Vikings represent the smallest country ever to make it to soccer's biggest stage, but as they showed in the European Championship two years ago they have plenty of quality. Can they surprise Mexico in front of a pro-El Tri crowd in Northern California?

Game Mexico vs. Iceland
Date Friday, March 23
Time 10 p.m. ET
Stream (U.S. only) fuboTV (7-day free trial)

LIVE STREAM


Carlos Vela Mexico Bosnia & Herzegovina

Watch Mexico vs. Iceland live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

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SQUADS & TEAM NEWS


Position Mexico players
Goalkeepers Ochoa, Jesus Corona, Talavera
Defenders Ayala, Reyes, Layun, Ayala, Gallardo, Alanis, Alvarez, Salcedo, Araujo
Midfielders Fabian, Herrera, Guardado, Molina, Pizarro, Jorge Hernandez, Gonzalez, Govea
Forwards Javier Hernandez, Jimenez, Peralta, Lozano, Vela, Jesus "Tecatito" Corona

A number of players called to the original roster had to pull out of the camp because of injury. Jonathan dos Santos is out with a hamstring complaint, while Tigres wingers Jurgen Damm and Javier Aquino both have adductor injuries.

Giovani dos Santos' hamstring injury kept him out of the original call-up. Oswaldo Alanis was added late.

Osorio may look to counteract Iceland's strength on set pieces and strong aerial game with a lineup of his own that is good in the air before using his best technical team Tuesday against Croatia.

Potential starting XI: Ochoa; Salcedo, Araujo, Moreno, Layun; Herrera, Molina, Guardado; Vela, Jimenez, Lozano

Position Iceland players
Goalkeepers Halldorsson, Kristinsson, Jonsson, Runarsson, Schram
Defenders Saevarsson, Sigurdsson, Arnasson, Skulason, Ingason, Magnusson, Fjoluson, Eyjolfsson, Hermannsson
Midfielders Gunnarsson, Bjarnasson, Gudmundsson, Hallfredsson, Gislason, Bjarnason, Skulason, Traustason, Fridjonsson
Forwards Sigborsson, Bodvarsson, Kjartansson, Finnbogason, Sigurdarson, Gudmundsson

Gylfi Sigurdsson is out with a knee injury suffered with Everton. 

Potential starting XI: Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Arnason, Sigurdsson, Magnusson; Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, Hallfredsson, Bjarnason; Finnbogason, Bodvarsson


GAME PREVIEW


Hector Moreno Mexico

Mexico faces Iceland in its first match with a full roster in 2018. It started off the year right with a 1-0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina in January, but that squad was composed entirely of players based in North America.

The Europe-based players are in Northern California ahead of Friday's match, and those players will make up the majority of the squad representing Mexico at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio hopes this match will be good preparation for the World Cup. The Colombian tactician sees Iceland's playing style as a similar to the one his side will face when it plays Sweden in World Cup Group F. 

He may be inclined to go with a team that is good in the air, with the Icelandic side possessing plenty of height and posing threats on set pieces. Osorio has shown a particular concern for teams that can beat Mexico in the air in the past.

That could mean a starting opportunity for forward Raul Jimenez instead of star forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez. The defensive midfielder position also is a question. Osorio didn't take a true No. 6 with him to the Confederations Cup in Russia but has called in a few players for these games who could do the job.

Monterrey's Jesus Molina and Jonathan Gonzalez, who Osorio sees in a more advanced role but wins the ball back for Rayados, plus Pachuca midfielder Jorge Hernandez and Belgium-based Omar Govea  He may see how they compete against Iceland before making his final decisions for the World Cup.

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Osorio also could try to find time for his best XI, featuring Chicharito, Hector Herrera and Diego Reyes. Goalkeeper is another position to watch with Alfredo Talavera looking for his first national team minutes since suffering a knee injury that kept him out of the majority of the 2017 Apertura.

Iceland is without one of their best players after Gylfi Sigurdsson suffered a knee injury. Alfred Finnbogason was the second-leading scorer in World Cup qualification, but the Vikings likely will still miss the creativity the Everton player provides. 

It should be a clash of two teams with big World Cup ambitions, but with the majority of tickets sold in Levi's Stadium and a pro-Mexico crowd expected, El Tri will look to come away with a result in addition to the knowledge the coaching staff acquires about its players.

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