The regular footballing season has come to an end but fans around the world still have a lot of international football to look forward to this month. A lot of international friendly and World Cup qualifiers are set to take place and today one of those matches sees two bitter rivals in Mexico and USA going head to head today.
The nations are set to meet at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico as they look to confirm their place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Their previous meeting in the world cup qualifier came in November last year which Mexico won 2-1 and the fact that USA have never won a World Cup qualifier in Mexico might be a concern.
Mexico currently top the CONCACAF World Cup qualifier table with 13 points and are yet to lose a game while USA are in third position with seven points. While Mexico will be expected to win today, USA could cause an upset as a lot has changed since they lost to them in November.
Jurgen Klinsmann was fired and replaced by Bruce Arena and is heading into this clash on the back of an impressive 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago. The USA manager knows that Mexico are the favourites .
"I don't know if it is the best chance to win there but we are sure going to try. Mexico has had an outstanding start and they are a great team. We all know playing in Azteca is very difficult. We can go there and relax and have a good tactical approach and try to come out of there with at least a point," USA Today quoted Arena as saying.
USA got only two days rest following Thursday night's 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago and you can expect Arena to make a number of changes as they look to remain in the top three of CONCACAF World Cup qualifier table.
As for Mexico, the South American team will be without three important players in Andres Guardado, Rafa Marquez and Miguel Layun due to injuries. The absence of Marquez and Layun might be a slight concern for Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio particularly as Layun is the team's only natural fullback.
"The guys know that Sunday's match is an extraordinary opportunity in the face of the World Cup. We're going to put out a competitive team and hopefully we can take this step, which would be extraordinary for Mexican soccer," Osorio said.
This is a must win match for USA in particular who are just one point ahead of fourth place Panama. Mexico will be wary of Christian Pulisic who has been involved in the last eight goals that USA have scored. At just 18 he is already one of their top players and will be hoping to build on his brace against Trinidad and Tobago.
Pulisic is not the only up and coming youngster that will take centre stage as Mexico have their own emerging talent in Hirving Lozano. The Mexican is reportedly on his way to Manchester City and could trouble the USA defence if they give him too much space.
Where to watch
The CONCACAF World Cup qualifier between Mexico and USA is set to start at 8:30 pm ET, 6:00 am IST and 1:30 am BST.
TV and live streaming information
Mexico: TV: UnivisionTDN, Azteca 13, TDN
USA: TV: Univision USA, Univision NOW, Fox Sports 1 USA. Live streaming: Fox Sports GO.
Brazil: TV: ESPN + Brasil