La Tri tackle El Tri in pre-World Cup test in Texas
Although Mexico have failed to beat Ecuador in their last three matches with them, El Tri (not to be confused with the latter’s nickname La Tri) have not tasted defeat against any nation in their previous seven. They are slight favourites at 6/4 for victory in Texas, USA.
Ecuador (13/8 chances) have been good recent form as well, claiming creditable draws with Argentina and away to the Netherlands, as well as beating Australia in a thrilling 4-3 victory. A draw in this fixture with Mexico is priced at 9/4.
The Spanish-speaking nations have played each other a total of 20 times in history, with Mexico boasting by far the better record, winning 13. However, Ecuador were very much an unfashionable footballing country a few years back, but victories against the likes of Colombia, Chile, Portugal and Uruguay the last couple of seasons proves they are on a dramatic rise.
National captain and Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia will be La Tri’s top hope at the World Cup. The Ecuadorian icon is a fantastic 5/1 shot to net anytime here.
Former Manchester City flop forward Felipe Caicedo, meanwhile, is the South American side’s main hope to score, along with striking partner Jaime Ayovi, at 2/1.
Valencia will be lining up against clubmate Javier Hernandez in Texas. The former Guadalajara poacher rarely featured this season under David Moyes, but has been called up to the 23-man squad for Brazil.
With Carlos Vela still in international exile, Mexico boss Miguel Herrera couldn’t afford to leave out another proven scorer. Chicharito is a 5/4 chance to add to his terrific El Tri tally of 35 goals in 58 appearances.
Mexico hope to have a full squad, but manager Herrera has concerns about box-to-box midfielder and namesake Hector Herrera.
“There are still distractions,” he said. “We must continue this co-ordination, the movements that we want are things that we will be correcting.
“We hope that when we get to Dallas to train, [Hector Herrera] arrives at the stadium having recovered well, but there is no hurry if the doctor says that he is not 100 per cent.
“We hope that on Saturday we have a full team, then we can begin to see others and begin to make decisions about who are going to be the core of the team.”