How many goals will Mexico score against Guatemala and who will score them? Those are the primary questions heading into a 2021 Gold Cup group-stage match that El Tri is expected to win comfortably.
Of course, that was also the expectation in the group stage opener against Trinidad & Tobago on Saturday, but things didn’t quite go as planned (0-0 draw). Despite outshooting the Soca Warriors 30-4 (7-0 on target), the Mexican side really never recovered from the disturbing early injury to Hirving “Chucky” Lozano and the blow of his exit from the game and the tournament.
Without Lozano, Mexico needs to find the back of the net again for more than self-confidence. El Tri will be eager to build up its goal difference mark, which is the tiebreaker that will come into play should it finish tied on points with any other team in Group A. Since El Salvador beat Guatemala 2-0 in its opener, El Tri will want to log a wider margin of victory.
MORE: Gold Cup group standings
Head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino will also hope a positive result can end a disappointing run of matches against CONCACAF opposition with World Cup qualifying starting in September against many of these same teams. Mexico has only won a single match in its last five against CONCACAF opposition (1-1-3 with three scoreless draws).
The pristine, expansive grass field at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and a Guatemala side ranked No. 127 in the world (vs. No. 11 for Mexico) should prove the elixir for El Tri. Los Chapines are only at the Gold Cup as a replacement for Curacao, which was ruled out because of a COVID-19 outbreak. The fact is they failed to qualify for both the Gold Cup and the final round of World Cup Qualifying. A loss will eliminate Guatemala from contention after only its second game in the tournament.
How to watch Mexico vs. Guatemala
- Date: Wednesday, July 14
- Time: 10:20 p.m. ET (weather delay, originally 9:30 p.m. ET)
- TV Channels: FS1
- Spanish-language TV: Univision, TUDN
- Streaming: fuboTV; FOX Sports & TUDN apps for authenticated subscribers
The Mexico vs. Guatemala Gold Cup group-stage match will be played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, and it will be broadcast on FS1 (English), Univision and TUDN (Spanish).
Those three networks can be streamed on fuboTV (free 7-day trial). It will also be available to authenticated subscribers on FOX Sports and TUDN apps.
Mexico vs. Guatemala starting lineups
In addition to missing “Chucky” Lozano, Tata Martino (below) will be without back-up forward Alan Pulido, who will be available for Sunday’s group finale against El Salvador. And center back Carlos Salcedo, who was expected to sit out after picking up a leg injury against Trinidad & Tobago, retains his place in the lineup.
Guatemala is coached by Mexican Rafael Loredo, who only recently took over on an interim basis ahead of the Gold Cup after Los Chapines fired their former coach following their July 6 elimination in the Gold Cup preliminary round (a penalty-kick loss to Guadeloupe).
With just a few days at the helm, Loredo is attempting to assemble a functional squad which held on at 0-0 for 80 minutes against El Salvador in the group opener before falling 2-0. But both the coach and his players have talked about the need to be more daring in attack than they were against the Salvadorans. They feel that sitting back and defending deep in their own half against Mexico will only invite more pressure, although that’s arguably inevitable against Mexico, whatever stance the Guatelamans assume. Regardless, they make five changes to the starting lineup that lost the opener.
Mexico (4-3-3, left to right): 1-Alfredo Talavera-GK — 23-Jesus Gallardo, 3-Carlos Salcedo, 2-Nestor Araujo, 21-Luis Rodríguez — 16-Hector Herrera (capt.), 4-Edson Alvarez, 14-Erick Gutierrez — 10-Orbelin Pineda, 11-Rogelio Funes Mori, 17-Jesus “Tecatito” Corona
Guatemala (5-4-1, left to right): 1-Nicholas Hagen-GK — 2-Moises Hernandez, 4-Jose Pinto (capt.), 20-Gerardo Gordillo, 3-Kevin Garcia, 13-Stheven Robles — 19-Robin Betancourth, 10-Alejandro Galindo, 23-Jorge Aparicio, 18-Oscar Santis — 14-Darwin Lom
Mexico vs. Guatemala: Odds & prediction
Trinidad & Tobago chased, tackled and threw bodies at the Mexico attack to come away with the 0-0 draw. Especially with a newly-installed head coach, Guatemala just won’t have the organization or the athleticism to keep up and to stop a Mexico team that is keen on reaffirming its place as the undisputed favorite for the title.
This is a statement game for Mexico and the final result should not be in question — the odds are a clear indicator of that. The way to bet this game will hinge on just how fierce a response you’re expecting from Mexico.
Conventional soccer thinking would lead you to believe that the defending Gold Cup champs will be merciless, even without Lozano. In that case, the over 3.5 total goals is a decent play. It’s unlikely that Mexico will be unlucky two games in a row.
The last four-goal win by Mexico against Guatemala came way back in the 2005 Gold Cup, but this Guatemalan team has been on a steady decline and has a lot of work to do to get back to being a competitive CONCACAF side. The last meeting between the two teams in September 2020 finished 3-0 for Mexico (13-3 on shots) and that was a Mexico team that didn’t have a prolific striker of the caliber of Rogelio Funes Mori.
Prediction: Mexico 4, Guatemala 0
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
- Mexico to win: -2000
- Draw: +1600
- Guatemala to win: +3000
- Over 3.5 total goals: -115
- Mexico -3 Asian Handicap: -110
- Mexico -1.25 First Half Asian Handicap: -125
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