Blaise Bourgeois

Predicting Juan Carlos Osorio’s World Cup starting XI

After finalizing Mexico’s 23-man roster for the World Cup in Russia, Juan Carlos Osorio has decisions to make when it comes down to picking his starting side.

Osorio knows that he will be criticised no matter what he does as Mexico has a history of relentless fans and have been calling for his sacking for quite some time. There were even “Fuera Osorio” chants (fire Osorio) during their 1-0 friendly win over Scotland on Saturday.

Mexico has one more friendly match in Denmark this Saturday in preparation for Russia.

In an interview with Sky Sports earlier in the year, Osorio claimed he prefers to use a base of about seven or eight players.

“I believe that depending on the opponent, on how they play and their style, it’s better to use some players instead of others. I’m also taking into consideration our way of playing and winning the game, for which there’s always an opportunity for three or four tactical alternatives,” the Mexican manager said.

Guillermo Ochoa is likely to start between the sticks after a successful season in Belgium. Mexico’s expected 4-2-3-1 formation could feature a stout defence, formed by Carlos Salcedo, Héctor Moreno, and Miguel Layún, while Hugo Ayala could step in to replace the injured Néstor Araujo.

In the midfield, Osorio could play Diego Reyes and Andrés Guardado, and make Héctor Herrera the number 10 behind Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández. On the wings, they will feature Hirving Lozano and Carlos Vela.