Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s friendly between Mexico and Sweden, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
In their last encounter before the 2022 World Cup Mexico take over Sweden in a friendly at the Estadi Montilivi in Spain on Wednesday.
The last time these sides faced each other was at the last World Cup when Sweden overtook El Tri for first place in Group F with a 3-0 win.
As they prepare for their eighth consecutive finals, Mexico put on a strong performance a week ago, beating Iraq 4-0, their biggest win since beating Nigeria by the same score in June 2021.
At their previous encounter Gerhard Martino saw his team capitalize on his scoring chances, something they struggled to do throughout the qualifying campaign.
Catching up against Blagult has proved extremely difficult for them as they haven’t scored in their last three games against the Swedes.
Losing to Sweden in 2018 cost them top spot in their group as El Tri conceded three goals in the second half and as a result had to play Brazil instead of Switzerland in the round of 16.
They then lost that round of 16 game 2-0, the seventh consecutive defeat for the Mexicans in the round of 16 of the finals.
El Tri has not allowed their opponents a shot on target in two of their last three games and has kept 10 clean sheets so far this year.
There are many questions surrounding the Mexico midfield as they looked a bit disjointed and lacking in creativity against a defensive Iraq side last Wednesday.
With their World Cup fate in their hands, Sweden failed at the worst possible moment, losing their last two UEFA qualifiers in Group B last November, having finished first before those defeats.
Sweden never recovered from a 2-0 loss to Georgia in the penultimate group match of qualifying, the lowest-ranked team they’ve ever beaten at international level, as the Georgians were seeded at No. 93 in the world at the time.
They have failed to score in three of their last four qualifiers, including a 2-0 loss to Poland in the playoff round that ended their World Cup dreams.
Since they could not qualify for the final, Janne AnderssonWith just one win in their last six games, s’ side are on a downward spiral as they are relegated to League B for the next UEFA Nations League tournament, finishing last in Group 4.
Swedes have conceded the opener in four of their last five games and haven’t won all year when faced with that scenario.
They have not played a CONCACAF side since beating Mexico at the last World Cup and Blagult has not lost to the Mexicans since 1994 (2-1).
The current generation of Swedes might lack star quality without an outstanding talent like Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Henrik Larsonbut they have solid defensive form and get by with hard work and discipline.
Form for international friendlies Mexico:
Form Mexico (all competitions):
Swedish form (all competitions):
Alexis Vega, Rogelio Funes Mori, Uriel Antuna and Jesus Gallardo All scored for Mexico in their victory over Iraq, the latter scoring his first goal for the national team.
Alfredo Talavera replaced Guillermo Ochoa in goal for that friendly and didn’t have to make a single stop to concede a goal, Hector Herrera made his first appearance since starting in a 0-0 draw with Ecuador in June and Andre Guardado sat out after becoming the all-time most capped Mexican player in their previous game.
Hirving Lozano has a goal involvement in consecutive games for his club Napoli, who are first in Serie A Santiago Gimenez has a chance of reaching double-digit caps for the senior team should he see the field on Wednesday.
Emil Forsberg equalized in a 1-1 draw with Slovenia in the last Nations League game in September, Emile Holm is looking for his first selection with the national team, as are Samuel Gustavson, Aiham Ousou and Leopold Wahlstedt.
In the Nations League, four new faces were in the starting XI from matchday five to six Joel Andersson, Kristoffer Olsson, Jesper Karlstrom and Robin Quason replaced Daniel Sungren, Jens Cajuste, Matthias Schwanberg and Victor Gyokeres.
The first international goal for Louis Augustinson was the game winner in the World Cup victory against Mexico four years ago, with which he has now been eliminated Andrew Granqvist Also on this occasion found the back of the net while an own goal out Edson Alvarez rounded off the rating and Robin Olsen received a shutout.
Mexico possible starting line-up:
ochoa; Araujo, Montes, Moreno, Gallardo; Alvarez, Romo, Chavez; Lozano, Martin, Vega
Sweden possible starting line-up:
Olsen; Andersson, Hien, Lindelof, Kurtulus; Claesson, Karlstrom, Forsberg, Elanga; Gyokeres, Ishak
We say: Mexico 1:1 Sweden
Mexico were much better in the attacking third a week ago, but they were playing in Iraq against a side that isn’t nearly as well organized defensively as Sweden and it seems like El Tri lacks a midfield general to take control can of a game.
On the other hand, Sweden seem to have lost some confidence since missing out on the World Cup and we don’t expect them to find too many chances on Wednesday.
For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, goal scores and more for this game, please click here.