Alvarez, Guardado, Jimenez lead Mexico XI against Martinique

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ROBYN BECK
El Tri's attack remains the same with the defense undergoing several changes ahead of Sunday's match

Edson Alvarez, Andres Guardado and Raul Jimenez were all named to Mexico's starting lineup for El Tri's final Gold Cup group stage match.

Gerardo 'Tata' Martino's side will take on Martinique in Charlotte on Sunday night, having already topped Cuba and Canada in their first two matches of the group stage.

Martino's squad feature six total changes from the team that topped Canada 3-1, with Alvarez, Jimenez, Jesus Gallardo, Uriel Antuna, and Roberto Alvarado the lone holdovers in the El Tri XI.

Guardado returns to the starting XI, having come off the bench in the win over Canada to replace Erick Gutierrez, who could miss the rest of Mexico's Gold Cup run after suffering an injury against Canada. Guardado stepped in and provided two goals off the bench, including the clinching goal in the 77th minute just two minutes after Puebla's Lucas Cavallini brought Canada within a goal.

The match marks the return of Rodolfo Pizarro, who is fit for the first time since suffering an ankle knock ahead of the tournament. Hector Moreno is also fit once again, having been injured in a pre-tournament friendly against Ecuador, but the defender has not been named to the starting lineup as well.

In defense, Gallardo returns at fullback with Cesar Montes and Carlos Salcedo, the latter of which has been dealing with a knee issue recently.  Fernando Navarro is also set for his tournament debut with Jonathan Orozco spelling Guillermo Ochoa in goal for the final match of the round.

Guardado and Alvarez lead the midfield unit with Monterrey's Carlos Rodríguez also involved. Alvarez was the lone midfielder to play all 90 minutes in the Canada victory, while Rodriguez joined Guardado in coming off the bench in that victory.

The attack remains the same, with Martino having opted for the attacking unit of Jimenez, Alvarado and Antuna through the first two matches. Antuna, on loan with the LA Galaxy from Manchester City, scored his first, second and third international goals in the opener against Cuba. Jimenez netted a brace in that win, with Alexis Vega and Diego Reyes adding the other two. Alvarado, meanwhile, scored Mexico's first two.

Martinique appear set to respond with a 4-4-2, led by Kevin Paresemain and Kevin Fortune while midfielder Stephane Abaul will captain Mario Bocaly's side.

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Mexico Martinique XI

Mexico XI: Orozco, Navarro, Montes, Salcedo, Gallardo, Alvarez, Rodriguez, Guardado, Antunes, Alvarado, Jimenez 

Martinique XI: Chauvet, Babin, Delem,Thimon,Camille, Marveaux, Herelle, Abaul, Bartheley, Fortune, Parsemain

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