ARLINGTON, Texas — Three of Mexico's star attackers return to El Tri's starting lineup for Tuesday's match against Croatia as Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Carlos Vela and Hirving Lozano form the attacking trident up top against the European opposition.
Behind them, Chivas midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro will go from the first whistle in his final chance to convince El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio that he needs to be on the World Cup roster. Real Betis midfielder Andres Guardado, Pachuca midfielder Jorge "Burrito" Hernandez and Omar Govea, based in Belgium should sit behind Pizarro with the Mexico coach set to try out a 3-4-3 against the understrength Croatia side that sent players like Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic back to Europe to prepare for their club games after a 2-0 friendly loss to Peru last week.
Mexico's back three features center backs Nestor Araujo, Hugo Ayala and Hector Moreno with Osorio using a back three for the second time in as many matches. He used a three-man back line of Moreno, Araujo and Carlos Salcedo in a 3-0 victory Friday
Guillermo Ochoa is the starting goalkeeper after being one of the El Tri regulars who didn't see minutes last week. Ochoa is the likely starter for El Tri at the World Cup, but will be eager to turn in a top performance after Jesus Corona's excellent night keeping a clean sheet last week.
Ivan Rakitic starts and captains Croatia with Real Madrid's Mateo Kovacic also in the midfield. Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic said Monday he's hoping to get a last look at several players on the fringe of the Croatia team, and will hand goalkeeper Lover Kalinic just his 10th cap. Up top, Andrej Kramaric, Ante Rebic and Marko Pjaca form a Bundesliga-based attacking trident.
The match kicks off at 10 p.m. ET.