The 2022 FIFA World Cup is upon us as the group stage kicks off on November 20 in Qatar. The tournament will run until December 18, when the final match will take place at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. Mexico are making their eighth straight appearance and 17th overall as they look to make a deeper run than in previous years. Ahead of their Group C opener against Poland on November 22, let’s take a closer look at what awaits El Tri in Qatar.
Mexico 2022 World Cup Preview
Odds of winning the World Cup: +13000
Mexico have never won a World Cup title, nor are they expected to win a tournament in Qatar. Although they are ranked No. 13 in the FIFA World Rankings (higher than the No. 16 of the United States), they will first have to focus on their exit from the group as they have drawn a difficult list with the Argentina, Poland and Saudi Arabia. Arabia. El Tri have come out of the group stage in the last seven consecutive World Cup tournaments, dating back to 1994. They’ve also gone 16 in all of them, so they’ll at least be looking to make an appearance in quarter-final this time around.
Group C win/pass odds: +450 to win, -120 to pass
Interestingly enough, Poland’s chances of winning the group are slightly better than Mexico’s according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Polish team set at +400 to win Group C. Argentina are the heavy favorites, but Mexico are coming slightly above Poland in terms of qualifying chances. It will be an uphill battle as Robert Lewandowski will be looking to take his side to the round of 16 for the first time since 1986, but Tata Martino and his team will hope to at least clinch a second place finish and advance to the round of 16 for the eighth consecutive time.
Assuming El Tri finishes in second place, they will meet the winner of Group D in the Round of 16 who will likely be defending champions France. It’s a tall order for anyone to get a victory against France, let alone a team like Mexico who have won only one victory against the French team in their history, during the phase of 2010 World Cup groups. It’s certainly not out of the question as anything can happen in this tournament, but expectations aren’t too high for El Tri to make a deep run this year.
Key player: Raul Jiménez
This year marks the first time in a long time that the Mexican outfit have been without stars Carlos Vela or Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, as they were both officially left out of Tata Martino’s squad some time ago. On top of that, Sevilla winger Jesus Corona has been ruled out of the World Cup with a broken fibula, which will put much of the attacking burden on Raul Jimenez’s shoulders if he is fit. With 29 goals in 94 caps for El Tri, the 31-year-old Wolverhampton striker has been stellar for Mexico even after a frightening skull fracture put his career at risk two years ago.