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Friday, 26 May 2017

Mexico vs Croatia - International Friendly

Mexico and Croatia will have a friendly encounter on 28th May in Los Angeles. This match will serve as a preparation for Mexico, as they will have two CONCACAF qualifying matches in early June before the FIFA Confederations Cup. This key encounter will be a stress test for the squad managed by Juan Carlos Osorio and that’s why he had called a 32-man squad for the forthcoming matches. The most important players will all be playing: Javier Hernández, Andrés Guardado, Giovani dos Santos and his brother Jonathan, and the goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Osorio also called the veteran defender Rafa Márquez. With 38 years, the former Barcelona player is still displaying a high performance in the national league playing in Atlas.

Croatia have all their main players in club duties or other commitments. As such we won’t see players like Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić and Mario Mandžukić. Instead, Ante Čačić, the manager, called a team mostly composed by local players, with some players abroad such as the defender Tin Jedvaj (21, Bayern Leverkusen), the forwards Ivan Santini (28, SM Caen) and Duje Čop (27, Cagliari Calcio) and goalkeeper Lovre Kalinić (27, KAA Gent). 

With Mexico needing this match to tune-up their performance and with a better squad overall, a “home” win seems likely. The odds reflect this, with 1/4 as average. A match with more than 2 goals from Mexico is an average of 17/10. This shouldn't be too much of an ask due to the friendly nature of the match and the offensive style of the mexicans. One should expect an open encounter with lots of chances and goals.

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