How will Mexico line up against Bermuda?

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Hirving Lozano and Jose Juan Macias are among potential starters for Tata Martino in El Tri's Concacaf Nations League debut against Bermuda

Mexico begins life in the Concacaf Nations League on Friday, facing Bermuda just outside Hamilton.

El Tri manager Tata Martino has called in a number of young players as he looks to strengthen both the senior team and the group that will seek Olympic qualification and then contest the tournament in Tokyo. But there also are stars like Hirving Lozano, Hector Herrera and Jesus "Tecatito" Corona in the mix - and they're not just in Bermuda to enjoy the beach.

So how will Mexico line up? Will Martino blend experience with youth, try to play the most experienced team possible or toss the young players into the deep end? 

Here are three lineups Martino could utilize. Check back an hour before kickoff to see which he's selected.

Old and new

GFX Mex Bermuda probable

This is Martino's most likely lineup, with the XI reflecting Mexico's 'win now but look forward' approach. No opponent in the region is going to be happy to see Hriving Lozano on the field, least of all Bermuda. His presence would help Leon forward Jose Juan Macias, a rising star but one yet to make his international debut in an official match, stay calm and play his best. On the other side, Gold Cup standout Uriel Antuna would get a chance to once again shine.

Moving to the midfield, Sebastian Cordova backed up his strong start to the season with America with a quality performance against Trinidad and Tobago in last week's friendly. Again, he would be joined by experience with Hector Herrera behind him to clean up any mistakes. Carlos Rodriguez is a player who clearly has impressed Martino with his excellent performances for Mexico and should get plenty of looks ahead of the 2022 World Cup - including in this tournament.

At the back, Martino doesn't have much choice but to put experienced center-back pair Nestor Araujo and Carlos Salcedo together. They can use all the chemistry-building they can get after a rough showing riddled with individual errors against Argentina in a 4-0 loss last month. Around them, though, the future at fullback looks bright. Necaxa's Cristian Calderon and America's Jorge Sanchez are perhaps the two most promising players (though Gerardo Arteaga will have something to say about that), so they get the nod.

In goal, Rodolfo Cota has the most experience of the three players in the mix by far.

Sticking with experience

GFX Mex Bermuda old

While veterans like Raul Jimenez, Guillermo Ochoa, Chicharito and Miguel Layun are at home, there are still plenty of veterans in the mix.

In addition to World Cup veterans like Lozano, Salcedo and Herrera, Jesus "Tecatito" Corona can come in - though he's unlikely to see too much time in this game as he continues to recover from an ankle knock. Roberto Alvarado, despite being eligible for the 2020 Olympics by age, was part of the Gold Cup campaign and can play either as a winger or in the midfield.

Cota has the experience, but Raul Gudino has the caps. It's probably a toss-up if the manager is looking for experience, but we've given Gudino the nod just to mix things up. 

Leaning into the youth movement

GFX Mex Bermuda youth

Martino has said Mexico doesn't need to panic and rush into generational change. That said, he's got two games this window, and with Panama perhaps posing more of a test than Bermuda (although, the teams split their September series, so maybe not), the match against Bermuda might be the time to give young players their opportunities.

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That would mean surprise starts for center-back pairing Luis Romo of Queretaro and Johan Vasquez of Monterrey. The fullbacks in our projected XI already are plenty young, as are the interior midfielders. But Jonathan Gonzalez might be able to shine as the No. 6 - or he could swap with Rayados teammate Rodriguez.

Up top, Diego Lainez hasn't had much positive momentum this season, struggling to get time at Real Betis. But he's still a talented enough player to impress against Concacaf defenses, and maybe the national team staff wants to give him a boost.

That said, this is the least likely of our three potential lineups.

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