Mexico will face the defending World Cup champion Germany after being drawn into Group F at Friday's World Cup draw.
The two teams met in Russia in the summer of 2017, with Germany thrashing El Tri in the Confederations Cup semifinal on the way to the title. The rematch between those teams will take place June 17 at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, with El Tri then playing against South Korea on June 23 in Rostov-on-Don and closing out the group against Sweden June 27 at Yekaterinburg's Central Stadium.
Mexico's first order of business will be to get out of the group. One more victory after advancing would be historic for Mexico, which has never made it to the quarterfinals at a World Cup that it wasn't hosting. With El Tri's streak at Round of 16 eliminations at six tournaments in a row, the potential Round of 16 matchups also are significant. Brazil and Switzerland are the two favorites to emerge from Group E.
Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio is expected to call in an experienced team that returns many players from the 2014 World Cup roster but also features emerging stars like PSV winger Hirving Lozano and Club America defender-midfielder Edson Alvarez. While Lozano's excellent form in his first season with a European team is making him a star, veterans like forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and midfielder Andres Guardado also will be critical for Mexico's chances of getting to the fifth game that the team's fans will use as a benchmark of success.
Osorio is notorious for the amount of preparation he puts into planning for matches, rotating his starting lineup based on each individual team Mexico is facing.
"It doesn't depend on us. We have to prepare for whoever comes up. What is true is that there are ideas of play that we adapt to better," Osorio told FIFA.com before the draw. "We'd like opponents who like to develop play, who bet on possession. Surely we'll have at least one opponent like that. After that there are those who have a more physical style or a more direct style and we'll have to adapt to them as well."
He now can begin to analyze how he'll set up his team in the group stage and, Mexico fans hope, look at the teams that could await El Tri should it once again find itself in the Round of 16.