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Even at home, this could end up being a very long night for El Salvador.
Months after losing to Mexico in the 2021 Gold Cup, manager Hugo Perez and his roster will now need to face the Concacaf giants once again, this time in World Cup qualifying.
Mexico are undefeated in the Octagonal with a 3W-2D-0L record, and as for El Salvador, they’ll be stumbling in with a 1W-2D-2L run in the early days of the tournament.
El Salvador won’t have much momentum heading into this one and will also have a player missing.
This year, they have yet to make their home ground a fortress either.
Pick Mexico for the win. (-265)
If there were any doubts whether Mexico are one of the Concacaf favorites for qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, most were likely extinguished after watching them clinch a recent 3-0 win.
In a packed Estadio Azteca, Mexico were dominant against a Honduras roster that only managed to get a single shot on target.
Of course, Honduras did go down to 10 men by the 49th minute, but even before then, Mexico were exciting to watch with their proactive style that clinched an early 1-0 lead.
Goals from Rogelio Funes Mori and Hirving Lozano followed, and by the time the final whistle blew, Mexico found themselves with three goals, 26 shots and 76% possession.
Results like these are vital.
Looking ahead, the win will be the exact boost in confidence that manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino and his roster need before their final World Cup qualifier this month.
In a crowded schedule that features three games within six days, there is much to be said about the role that momentum and morale have for Octagonal games.
And a 3-0 result should do plenty to help kickstart Mexico.
With tens of thousands celebrating at the Azteca, the latest win over Honduras felt like a proper send-off before the away game vs El Salvador.
During the latest match, several key players like Funes Mori, Lozano and Sebastian Cordova benefited from goals that will only continue to help propel their national team careers forward.
The mood is a hopeful one for players and fans, and ahead of their away trip for Wednesday, Mexico will be in the perfect state of mind.
Credit to those who have shown up to previous World Cup qualifiers at the Estadio Cucscatlan, but it hasn’t been the most intimidating away trip in Concacaf.
In their three Octagonal games at the venue, El Salvador have two 0-0 draws and a narrow 1-0 win.
It’s far from convincing and there’s obviously room for improvement.
As for Mexico, you don’t have to go back too far to find success at the stadium.
In their last World Cup qualifier at the Estadio Cuscatlan, Mexico claimed a 3-1 win in El Salvador during 2016.
Keep in mind, two of those goalscorers from the result — Hector Moreno and Raul Jimenez — will be available for selection for this week’s match.
One common theme about Mexico in World Cup qualifying is their roster depth.
On Sunday, we got a hint at what some of their backups can provide through thrilling and game-changing performances from names like Orbelin Pineda and Funes Mori.
These alternatives, who would easily be starters for El Salvador, will be rejuvenated and 100% ready for 90 minutes for the final World Cup qualifier of October.
The same can’t be said for El Salvador.
Perez doesn’t have the benefit of a deep squad, and after one of his players earned a red in their latest 2-1 loss to Costa Rica, he’ll now have fewer options on the bench.
All signs point to Mexico earning three points here.
|El Salvador vs Mexico Information|
|Teams||El Salvador vs Mexico|
|Location||Estadio Cuscatlan (San Salvador, El Salvador)|
|Time||Wednesday, October 13th at 7:00pm PT/10:00pm ET|
|How to Watch||Telemundo|
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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