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By Tim Warren

Team: Mexico

Nickname: El Tricolor (The Tricolor)

World Cup appearances: 15

World Ranking: 15

Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio

Captain: Andres Guardado

Player to watch: Javier Hernandez
‘Chicharito’ is Mexico’s all-time leading goal scorer with 49 goals, and one of their most creative players up-front when on song. The West Ham striker comes into the tournament with good form even though most of his appearances for his club side were off the bench. Hernandez has a proven record at World Cups, scoring at both South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. He will be a pivotal factor in Mexico’s World Cup campaign in Russia.

NowUC predictor:
Competing in the CONCACAF qualification confederation, Mexico breezed through their group, finishing on top with 21 points out of a possible 30, scoring 16 goals and conceding the least goals in the group with seven. ‘El Tricolor’ have reached the round-of-16 in their past six World Cup appearances from 1994-2014, but on each occasion, has gone no further. To break this round-of-16 curse in Russia 2018, Mexico will first need to get through a difficult Group E which includes reigning world champion Germany as well as Sweden and South Korea Republic. If they succeed, they will then likely face Brazil or Switzerland from Group E, where, again, the first knockout stage might be their final outing for the tournament.

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