Sport 2018 World Cup Tactical Preview: Mexico

01:15  14 june  2018
01:15  14 june  2018 Source:   readsport.co

2018 World Cup Tactical Preview: Croatia

  2018 World Cup Tactical Preview: Croatia Having been slight underachievers at their last three tournaments, Zlatko Dalić’s Croatia will arrive in Russia facing the reality that this might be the last World Cup for their golden generation. Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, and Mario Mandzukic are all approaching the end of their careers, and Croatia will be hoping that the three can help the team overcome instability, and finally reach the quarter-finals of a major tournament. The System: Croatia play a wide 4-2-3-1 formation with Ivan Perisic playing wide left and former Leicester City man Andrej Kramaric playing wide right. Luka Modric will drop deep in Croatia’s defensive phase, but when they are attacking, he pushes up and plays as a de-facto number 10, spraying balls around the final third. There is no place in the team for Inter Milan’s box to box midfielder Marcelo Brozovic, as Ivan Rakitic is partnered by holding midfielder Milan Badelj in the pivot. Defensively, Croatia have avoided playing Dejan Lovren as he has been a disaster for the national team, but he will play alongside Domagoj Vida at the World Cup as Vedran Corluka has been plagued by injuries. Atletico Madrid’s Sime Vrsjalko will play at right-back, and the left-back spot will be filled by one of Ivan Strinic or Josip Pivaric. Stylistically, Croatia are one of the few teams with the ability to play wide and narrow football in the same game.

World Cup 2018 team preview : Can Mexico finally win a knockout match on foreign soil? For more analysis, lineup projections and predictions, head to our World Cup preview hub, bookmark it, and return as all 32 team previews and eight group previews roll in.

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Making their seventh straight appearance at the World Cup, Mexico are aiming to build on their impressive record of getting out of the groups at all six of those tournaments.

The main issue for Mexico is that they haven’t made it any further than the last 16 in these attempts, so they will look to build on that. Mexico are once again an intense, entertaining side with a good mix of experience and youth, so don’t rule them out.

The System:

Like their group opponents South Korea, Mexico play two systems. Juan Carlos Osorio likes to play a 4-3-3 and a 3-4-3, but it looks as if the former is going to be the more likely set up at this tournament.

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Welcome to Yahoo Sports’ team-by-team 2018 World Cup previews . With less than a month to go until this summer’s tournament, it’s time to get familiar with each of the 32 teams participating in Russia. Next up in Group F is Mexico .

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Mexico’s 4-3-3 places a lot of faith in the old guard, with Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela both set to start in the front three along with Hirving Lozano, who looks as if he is on the verge of a move to a European giant. The midfield is hard to predict, as Diego Reyes has sometimes played at the base, but many Mexicans believe he will be used at the back, which means Hector Herrera will be partnered by Giovani Dos Santos and Andres Guardado. This midfield has pretty much everything you could need, but Reyes could start as a holding player against Germany, or against anyone in the knockout stages.

Hector Moreno is guaranteed to start at the back, with 2014 hero Guillermo Ochoa set to start in goal. The other defensive spots are the hardest to predict, as Miguel Layun will play, but he could start at left-back despite playing right-back for his club side Sevilla. Carlos Salcedo (not the ex-Fulham defender) will also start in the defence, but there is some debate over whether he plays as a centre-back, or as a full-back. If Salcedo plays as a centre-back, then there will be a chance for the highly talented Edson Alvarez to prove himself at right-back, while Layun plays at left-back.

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The opener against Mexico looks tasty, and could be one of the best games of the group stage. More World Cup coverage from Yahoo Sports: • 2018 World Cup preview hub • Ranking the top 100 players at the World Cup • FC Yahoo Mixer: The Ronaldo vs. Messi debate • A tactical guide to the

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Mexico are capable of playing possession football, but this is a team that plays with a lot of width and looks to hit teams quickly. Lozano and Vela will drift inside, with the full-backs pushing high up the pitch when necessary. Javier Hernandez is more of a poacher, so Mexico prefer to build up in other areas and get him on the end of drilled crosses and through balls.

Mexico’s centre-backs spread very wide, and if Reyes is playing as a midfielder, they can essentially be playing with three at the back. The wide centre-backs aim to make vertical passes into the midfield, and from there, the ball will travel quickly into the wide areas. Carlos Vela and Hirving Lozano are quick and direct, so getting them the ball as quickly as possible is essential.

Carlos Salcedo’s positional versatility is incredibly important to Mexico, as he can play both as a full-back and as a centre-back. This means they can essentially build from the back in a variety of shapes, as Salcedo’s versatility means they won’t be exposed defensively. The system is designed to create as much space as possible for the wide players; this isn’t really a bad thing given their personnel.

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System Strengths:

Mexico are blessed with pace, creativity and solidity, and might be one of the more complete teams at the tournament. They have depth in every position and their midfield is particularly balanced.

Mexico also do have a lot of different goalscorers, with Hernandez, Peralta, Dos Santos, Vela and Guardado all having over 15 goals for the national team. Mexico’s attack exemplifies this, as many different players get involved in trying to score goals.

Tactically, Mexico are very good at getting the ball into their key players, and this means they can grind out results. Juan Carlos Osorio isn’t that popular with Mexico fans because he doesn’t necessarily preach the attacking football they want, but he gets results and is tactically astute.

System Weaknesses:

When watching Mexico, I felt that they looked vulnerable to wide attacks. Their central defenders split wide and if options in front are marked tightly, teams could easily break into the space vacated in the channels. Mexico try and counter this by playing with a high line and pressing, but I feel a team with two direct wingers could cause Mexico a lot of problems.

Unknown player to look out for – Carlos Salcedo’s injury for Eintracht Frankfurt derailed the end of their Bundesliga campaign, and I feel he will be this pivotal for Mexico in Russia.

Denmark v Mexico - International Friendly © Alex Grimm/Getty Images Sport Denmark v Mexico - International Friendly

Arsenal eyeing move for Mexico international .
Arsenal are eyeing a move for Mexico international Miguel Layun this summer. According to Spanish outlet AS, via Sport Witness, Arsenal are among a number of clubs interested in signing the versatile midfielder. Layun spent the second half of last season on loan to Sevilla in La Liga, but they are not expected to pursue a permanent deal. The report claims that a number of sides are keen on Layun, including West Ham, AC Milan and Marseille. It is also claimed that Porto are looking for a fee in the region of €6m for Layun, which is well within Arsenal’s price range. Layun starred as Mexico kicked off their World Cup campaign in Russia with a 1-0 win over the holders Germany. The 29-year-old also has past Premier League experience, having joined Porto from Watford. Arsenal have already made two signings this summer, bringing in Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bernd Leno since Unai Emery arrived at the club.

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