World Cup Qualifying Preview: Mexico vs. El Salvador

El Tri will hope to earn their ticket to South Africa with a win over El Salvador
By Sylvestre Adame

Mexico vs. El Salvador
What: World Cup qualifier
Where: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
When: Saturday, Oct. 10, 6 p.m. ET
TV: Telemundo

The Mexican national team will make an effort to qualify to the 2010 World Cup by beating El Salvador. El tri along with newly integrated Francisco Palencia and without Nery Castillo, will look for revenge against their counterparts since they have been the only ones to beat Mexico in the qualifiers under the new Aguirre era.

El Salvador will look desperately for a win knowing that only a victory will keep alive their World Cup hopes.

Hurtful Injuries

The whole way the Mexican national team was structured through out the Qualifiers will change for Saturday’s El Tri will be missing key components to the squad that has not seen a defeat in the second round of the World cup qualifiers. Giovani Dos Santos is one of those key parts that will miss the encounter due to injury.

Dos Santos has flourished under the guidance of Javier Aguirre. The coveted midfielder seemed to be everywhere on the field for El tri in their last qualifier games. All of the passes and the creativity flowed through this one player. Mexico has another very creative player within the squad but even he is in doubt for the game.

Cuauhtémoc Blanco will be in doubt to feature for El Tricolor. Blanco is still suffering form an injury which he has not been able get over. There is hope that Blanco will be ready to start but in case he’s not, Javier Aguirre has already called for back up.

While some suffer with injuries others come back but their performance with the team could raise speculation.

Rafael Marquez will be making his return back into the squad which could be a potential hazard for Mexico’s backline. Marquez has not played with the national team since eight months ago. Marquez has not seen his regular time with Barcelona so his match fitness is also in question. Ricardo Osorio could also be out of form since he is yet to feature in Germany

Bringing in the Old

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises that have risen from the game on Saturday was the surprise calling of Francisco Palencia. Palencia was called in to replace Cuauhtémoc if he is not ready for game day. The question that arises here is if Palencia would play?

Javier Aguirre has called up Palencia before, back in the 2002 World Cup. “El Gatillero” was only brought on at that time to provide experience to that World Cup side. But the national team has plenty players with an abundance of experience already. Javier Aguirre could be testing old waters and Palencia could make an appearance in the game against El Salvador.

Aguirre has already called back Braulio Luna, who played a very good game despite the loss to Colombia. “El Vasco” has done a pretty good job thus far of fixing the old with the new and if it continues to work then why stop the man.

El Salvador Inspired

El Salvador still has a chance to make it to South Africa. It’s not a very good chance but there is hope for the Cuscatlecos. Of course the biggest motivator for El Salvador will be their win against Mexico earlier in the hexagonal. They will try to do it once more but this time in the Azteca.

The Central Americans do have four defeats in the qualifiers but all of those defeats were hard fought battles were the Salvadoran defense held a good line despite the loss. Carlos De Los Cobos will put an emphasis on his defense and especially on two Mexican wingers.

De Los Cobos has noted and worked on stopping Andres Guardado and Efrain Juarez. Cobos is convinced that the Mexican attack will run through these two wingers so he’s been putting in a lot of work to try and stop them.

El Salvador is on the brink of being eliminated so they will play a very physical game. Hard tackles will fly and the Mexicans will have to be careful to not let their emotions get the best of them.

Projected Starting lineups



      -----Juarez-- Marquez-- Osorio-- Salcido-------

      -----Barrera-- Castro-- Torrado-- Guardado----

      ------------------Franco--- Vela-----------------------

El Salvador




      --------------------Castillo---Reyes-------------------- Prediction: Mexico 2, El Salvador 1

Sylvestre Adame covers Mexican football for

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