How will Mexico line up against Argentina on Tuesday?

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El Tri close out the year with another matchup against Argentina, and Tuca Ferretti is expected to make a number of changes from Friday

The Mexico national team's 2018 comes to an end Tuesday, with El Tri facing Argentina and looking to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat to the Albiceleste.

Interim manager Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti will be putting together his starting XI for the final time. He won't have several players at his disposal who played in Friday's contest with goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defenders Nestor Araujo and Miguel Layun and forward Raul Jimenez heading back to Europe to rejoin their clubs.

Queretaro defender Hiram Mier has been added to the roster, but Ferretti doesn't seem likely to toss him straight into the starting lineup after a long trip and joining up late.

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What will he do? As we do before every Mexico match, we've projected three potential lineups that Mexico may utilize:


The most likely XI


gfx mex arg projected

The indications are that this is the starting lineup Ferretti will choose. Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesus Corona, a veteran at age 37, is once again in the squad and will likely see time. Across the back line, there are starting minutes for America's Edson Alvarez, who has seen playing time dip since the World Cup but should still be in the picture for club and country and Julio "Cata" Dominguez. Dominguez is a veteran, and his inclusion over other defenders in the pool is puzzling, but he's here and Ferretti intends to use him.

At right back, Ferretti's club player Jesus Duenas gets the nod with Santos Laguna prospect Gerardo Arteaga on the left. Arteaga has been one of the biggest surprises of Ferretti's interim tenure and saw time in the first match.

In the midfield, Pachuca's rising star Victor Guzman leads what is an interesting midfield. Any of the three players, Guzman, PSV's Erick Gutierrez and Guzman's club teammate Erick Aguirre, could sit back in front of the defenders or take on a more attacking role. Guzman has excelled on the left, pinging switches over defenders to find the open right winger in previous Mexico caps but Gutierrez also has put his stamp on the position.

Up top, America's Henry Martin leads the line with veteran Tigres winger Javier Aquino to his left and Isaac "El Cone" Brizuela on the other side.


European teams Pt. 2


gfx mex arg europe pt two

There are still a handful of Europe-based players with the national team in Mendoza, though it seems like most may be there to make up the numbers for a Mexico team hit hard by injuries and absences for other reasons.

What if Ferretti decided to go all-out in his quest to close out with a victory, though? That could see Diego Reyes come into the back line, forming a center-back partnership with Alvarez more similar to what we may see for the national team going forward than if Dominguez were involved.

Marco Fabian, who might as well play for the national team after a long stretch of inactivity with Eintracht Frankfurt, enters into the starting lineup as well.


Something totally different


gfx mex arg big changes
 

This doesn't seem like a look Ferretti is heavily considering, but I'd do something similar if I were in charge of the team. Guzman in a playmaker role always has intrigued me, and I think he's better in a more attacking role than he's played with El Tri so far. The goals he's scoring in Liga MX are evidence enough that he can shoulder the load - though he's also comfortable out wide. Even so, I left Guzman central and put Roberto Alvarado - usually on the left - on the right. I don't think the inversion would affect him, and Aquino is a better player on the left.

Reyes and Alvarez together is something that makes sense going forward, so why not give them the challenge of stopping Erik Lamela and Mauro Icardi?

Corona has been a loyal servant to the national team, but I think it's Hugo Gonzalez's time in net. 

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