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, which is when the final match takes place at Lusail Iconic Stadium. Mexico is making their eighth consecutive appearance and their 17th overall as they look to make a deeper run than years past. Ahead of their Group C opener against Poland on November 22, let’s take a closer look at what lies ahead for El Tri in Qatar.
Mexico World Cup 2022 Preview
Odds to win World Cup: +13000
Mexico have never won a World Cup title, and they’re not highly expected to get a tournament win in Qatar, either. While they’re ranked No. 13 in the FIFA World Rankings (higher than No. 16 USA), they’ll need to focus on getting out of the group first as they’ve drawn a tough slate with Argentina, Poland, and Saudi Arabia. El Tri have made it out of the group stage in the last seven consecutive World Cup tournaments, dating all the way back to 1994. They’ve made a round of 16 exit in each one of those as well, so they’ll at least look to make a quarterfinal appearance this time around.
Odds to win/advance from Group C: +450 to win, -120 to advance
Interestingly enough, Poland’s odds of winning the group are slightly better than Mexico’s according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Polish side set at +400 to win Group C. Argentina is the clear favorite, but Mexico come in slightly above Poland as far as odds to qualify. It’ll be a tough battle as Robert Lewandowski will look to bring his side into the knockout rounds for the first time since 1986, but Tata Martino and his squad will hope to at least grab a second place finish and move on to the round of 16 for the eighth straight time.
Assuming El Tri finish in second place, they’ll meet up with the Group D winner in the round of 16 which will likely be the defending champions France. It’s a tall order for anyone to get a win over France, much less a team like Mexico who has only pulled out one victory over the French side in their history which came in the group stage of the 2010 World Cup. 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 Jimenez
This year marks the first time in a while that Mexico’s roster is without stars Carlos Vela or Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, as they were both officially left off of Tata Martino’s squad a while back. On top of that, Sevilla winger Jesus Corona has been ruled out of the World Cup with a fractured fibula, which will put a lot of the attacking burden on the shoulders of Raul Jimenez if he’s fit. With 29 goals through 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 in jeopardy two years ago.