Good morning BETHOME punters! Last night Uruguay gained the upper hand in Group A with a victory over host nation South Africa but tonight we have the other game between France and Mexico. Let’s take a closer look at the match preview…
France - Mexico
France were pretty disappointing in their opening game of the World Cup as they could muster anything more than a mediocre performance to register a scoreless bore draw against Uruguay, which was the fairest result for both teams. Domenech left Malouda out of the starting line-up because of ill discipline because the team should always be more important than the individual. His spot was handed to Diaby, who was their best player and along with Toulalan they were the only two who fought hard for the win. Ribery and Anelka wanted the ball played at their feet and every time they got it they stumbled in front of the defence. Govou was nowhere to be seen, as was Gourcuff, who was clearly feeling the affects of the pressure. Defensively, France were never really threatened but they missed the runs up the flank by Sagna, while Gallas needed up to three attempts on occasion to clear the ball. The French fans have consistently asked for the use of Cisse up front but the problem is that the ball doesn’t get to the forwards. There will be one change today as Malouda takes the place of Gourcuff. I personally think there may be one more with Valbuena coming in for Govou.
Mexico began their World Cup commitments with a decent showing after picking up a 1-1 draw against South Africa in what was a decent game. The Central Americans began the game strongly taking advantage of the host nation’s nerves. They caused them plenty of problems but Franco couldn’t capitalise on two great heading opportunities that fell his way. Dos Santos was in sparkling form, while Vela was quick around the pitch, however they were slow to get back into defence when the Africans finally got going. They didn’t cover for one another at the back which allowed Tshabalala to score, but Aguirre’s players raised their performance levels and with 4 playing up front managed to peg back the score thanks to a goal by defender Rafa Marquez. In general, the Mexicans put in a good display against a strong team and are capable of getting a result against the French. Nevertheless, I personally think its unacceptable that Blanco is still in this squad given his weight issues. Guardado should start this match as he is the only decent passer in the squad, while Javier Hernandez should also get the nod.
Selection: This is an unpredictable match as the French do not look capable of achieving anything respectable in this tournament, while the Mexicans do have the talent to get a result today. I suggest a Draw.