Hernandez-less Mexico still fancied for CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C
Mexico (CONCACAF Gold Cup favourites with Coral at 11/10) come into this North American international tournament on the back of a disappointing Copa America campaign, as they failed to get through their group.
However, Aztecs boss Miguel Herrera took a second-string side to Chile, and now has his star names available to him, all except for Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, who has pulled out of the event due to a broken collarbone.
Despite one of Mexico’s key players withdrawing, they still have a whole host of quality to pick from, with former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela now likely to lead the line. Other names such as Guillermo Ochoa, Andres Guardado and Dos Santos brothers Giovani and Jonathan are also in the squad.
While Herrera may be weary from his Copa America excursions, his team will be fresh and raring to go as they aim to regain the title from tournament co-hosts the USA.
Mexico have certainly been handed a favourable Group C, and are heavily odds-on at 1/6 to win it ahead of Cuba, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago.
The latter will be the closest challengers to El Tri, as the Caribbean nation will be hoping to grab the second automatic qualification place and perhaps emulate their semi-final achievement in 2000.
Cardiff striker Kenwyne Jones is far and away the Soca Warriors’ main man, so defences will certainly need to be wary of him.
Trinidad (15/2 to win Group C) have only one other British-based player, in Dagenham and Redbridge midfielder Andre Boucaud. Surprisingly, Hoyte brothers Justin and Gavin have been left on he provisional squad list.
Mexico’s geographical neighbours Guatemala (9/1 shouts) also pose a small threat, having reached the Gold Cup semis before too (in 1996).
Los Chapines will be hoping to rely on MLS-based trio Elias Vasquez (Real Salt Lake), Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas) and Marco Pappa (Seattle Sounders).
Caribbean country Cuba, meanwhile, are huge outsiders at 50/1 to somehow win this pool, as their squad consists on virtual unknowns and no one that plays outside of the island.
Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala kick off the group on July 9th, before Mexico face Cuba on the same day.