Mexico returns to the World Cup with hopes of getting beyond the quarterfinals for the first time in their history. However, the road to the championship will not be easy, with El Tri having to go through massive obstacles early on in the tournament.
During the group stage, Mexico will need to contend with Argentina, Poland, and Saudi Arabia. This dynamic trio of teams will provide El Tri with heavy opposition, spearheaded by Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski.
How far can El Tri push through the 2022 World Cup in Qatar? Let’s look at current betting lines to find the best values available.
El Tri World Cup Odds
-Qualify For 2nd Round (-115)
-Win Group C (+450)
-Reach World Cup Final (+4000)
-Win World Cup (+10000)
El Tri World Cup odds are provided by BetMGM Sportsbook and are current as of Tuesday, Aug. 9.
Argentina is the consensus choice to win Group C at -250, with an expected fight between Mexico and Poland for the second qualifying spot to the Round of 16.
El Tri Projected World Cup Starting XI
-Forwards: Hirving Lozano, Jesús Corona, Raúl Jiménez
-Midfielders: Héctor Herrera, Edson Álvarez, Carlos Rodríguez or Erick Gutiérrez
-Defenders: Héctor Moreno, Gerardo Arteaga, Jorge Sánchez, Néstor Araujo
-Goalkeeper: Guillermo Ochoa
Guillermo Ochoa is a lock to compete in his fifth World Cup. The América goalkeeper was a standout during the games in Brazil (2014) and Russia (2018) and will be key to Mexico’s hopes of making a deep run in the tournament.
The 37-year-old known as Memo will be competing in what will likely be his final World Cup, so it will be interesting if Gerardo Martino brings along Rodolfo Cota as the second string or opts for El Tri’s “goalkeeper of the future,” Carlos Acevedo.
As it stands now, Gerardo Arteaga or Jesus Gallardo will take the pitch as the starting left back, with Jorge Sánchez penciled in at right back.
The real question will be how Martino decides to handle the middle of the pitch, with Néstor Araujo and Héctor Moreno being the more experienced options in front of 25-year-old César Montes and 23-year-old Johan Vásquez.
Héctor Herrera (Houston Dynamo) and Edson Álvarez (Ajax) are set as the defensive midfielders for El Tri, but who will join them as the attacking midfielder is somewhat up in the air.
The favorites to occupy the third position are Cruz Azul’s Carlos Rodriguez or PSV Eindhoven’s Erick Gutiérrez. The smart money is on Rodriguez to take a spot in the starting eleven after getting more minutes with the first team during qualifying. However, Gutiérrez may become an option if Martino wants to utilize his premier passing ability.
Mexico seems to be set at the wings with Hirving Lozano (Napoli) and Jesús Corona (Sevilla), but there is intrigue when it comes to the center-forward position.
There was hope that El Tri’s all-time leading scorer, Javier “ Chicharito” Hernández, would return for the World Cup in Qatar, but that seems unlikely to happen, with the spot likely to go to Wolverhampton’s Raúl Jiménez or Monterrey’s Rogelio Funes Mori.
Jiménez has seen a dramatic drop in form since suffering a head injury in 2021, so El Tri will need a significant effort from players like Corona, who has had issues in the attacking third if Mexico is going to compete with teams like Argentina.
El Tri World Cup Prediction
El Tri Eliminated in Round of 16
If the Mexican national team can navigate their way through Group B, there is a strong likelihood that they will match up against the defending World Cup champions, France, in the Round of 16.
Les Bleus are +600 to win the World Cup, just behind Brazil at +475. Any scenario in which El Tri moves deep into the tournament will require either Mexico to upset Argentina during group play or France to stumble in Group D to an underrated Denmark team.
El Tri World Cup Best Bets
El Tri Qualify for 2nd Round from Group B (-110) at BetMGM
Mexico’s opening match against Poland will likely be the deciding factor that determines if El Tri can qualify out of Group B to the Round of 16.
Argentina is a massive favorite in Group B, and for a good reason, leaving Mexico and Poland to fight for second place. Fortunately for El Tri, other than Lewandowski, who is arguably the best striker in the world, the Polish team lacks strength in other areas of the pitch.
If Mexico can contain Lewandowski, they have the talent to outclass the rest of the Polish side and control possession.
El Tri Group B Winner (+450) at BetMGM
The best case scenario for Mexico in the World Cup is to avoid France in the Round of 16. However, this path will be challenging to pave since it would require El Tri to defeat Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, during the group stage.
Argentina has a very well-rounded roster, unlike Poland, and is widely expected to win Group C. That said, if El Tri can manage to steal a point from La Albiceleste with a draw, perhaps Lewandowski can create some magic against the Argentinian side.
Mexico coming out of Group B as the winner is a long shot, but it is not out of the question. So place a +450 bet on El Tri to finish first, along with a more sensible wager for them to qualify and hope for the best.
Bet on El Tri to win Group B at BetMGM.