Mexico vs Sweden lineups, TV channel, kick-off time & where to watch
In their final encounter ahead of the 2022 World Cup, Mexico take on Sweden in a friendly on Wednesday at Estadi Montilivi in Spain.
The last time these sides faced off was at the previous World Cup, when the Swedes overtook El Tri for first place in Group F thanks to a 3-0 victory.
As they prepare for an eighth successive trip to the finals, Mexico are coming off a strong showing a week ago, defeating Iraq 4-0, their biggest victory since blanking Nigeria by that same score in June 2021.
In their previous encounter, Gerardo Martino saw his team capitalise on their scoring opportunities, something they struggled to do throughout the qualification campaign.
Finding the back of the net versus Blagult has proven to be exceedingly difficult for them, having failed to score in their last three matches against the Swedes.
Their defeat versus Sweden in 2018 cost them first place in the group, as El Tri conceded three goals in the second half, and as a result had to play Brazil instead of Switzerland in the round of 16.
They went on to lose that knockout stage fixture 2-0, the seventh consecutive defeat for the Mexicans in the last 16 of the finals.
El Tri have not allowed their opponents a single shot on target in two of their previous three games, posting 10 clean sheets so far this year.
There are plenty of questions surrounding the Mexican midfield, as they looked somewhat disjointed without much creativity against a defensive Iraqi squad last Wednesday.
With their World Cup destiny in their hands, the Swedes fell apart at the most inopportune moment, losing their final two UEFA qualifiers in Group B last November, having been in first place before those defeats.
Sweden never recovered from a 2-0 loss to Georgia in their second-to-last qualifying group fixture, the lowest-ranked team that has ever beaten them on the international stage as the Georgians were seeded 93rd in the world at that time.
They failed to score in three of their final four qualifiers, including a 2-0 loss to Poland in the playoff round, which ended their World Cup dreams.
Since their failure to qualify for the finals, Janne Andersson’s men have continued into a downward spiral with just one victory in their last six games as they were relegated to League B for the next UEFA Nations League tournament, finishing bottom of Group 4.
The Swedes have conceded the opening goal in four of their last five matches played and have not won when faced with that scenario all year.
They have not played a team from CONCACAF since defeating Mexico at the previous World Cup, and Blagult have not lost to the Mexicans since 1994 (2-1).
The current Swedish generation may be short on star quality without an outstanding talent like Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Henrik Larsson, but they have a solid defensive shape and get by with hard work and discipline.
Alexis Vega, Rogelio Funes Mori, Uriel Antuna and Jesus Gallardo all scored for Mexico in their victory over Iraq, with the latter notching his first ever for the national team.
Alfredo Talavera replaced Guillermo Ochoa in goal for that friendly and did not have to make a single stop to collect a clean sheet, Hector Herrera made his first appearance since starting in a 0-0 draw versus Ecuador in June and Andres Guardado sat out after becoming the most capped Mexican player of all-time in their previous match.
Hirving Lozano has a goal involvement in back-to-back fixtures for his club side Napoli, who are first in Serie A, while Santiago Gimenez has a chance to reach double-digits in caps for the senior squad should he see the field on Wednesday.
Emil Forsberg notched the equaliser in their 1-1 draw against Slovenia in their last Nations League encounter in September, Emil Holm is searching for his first selection with the national team, as are Samuel Gustafson, Aiham Ousou and Leopold Wahlstedt.
There were four new faces in their starting 11 from matchday five to six in the Nations League as Joel Andersson, Kristoffer Olsson, Jesper Karlstrom and Robin Quaison replaced Daniel Sundgren, Jens Cajuste, Mattias Svanberg and Viktor Gyokeres.
The first international goal for Ludwig Augustinsson was the game-winner in their World Cup victory over Mexico four years ago, with the now retired Andreas Granqvist also finding the back of the net on that occasion, while an own goal from Edson Alvarez rounded out the scoring and Robin Olsen collected a shutout.
Mexico possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Araujo, Montes, Moreno, Gallardo; Alvarez, Romo, Chavez; Lozano, Martin, Vega
Sweden possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Andersson, Hien, Lindelof, Kurtulus; Claesson, Karlstrom, Forsberg, Elanga; Gyokeres, Ishak
We say: Mexico 1-1 Sweden
Mexico were much better in the attacking third a week ago, but they were playing a side in Iraq who are not nearly as well-organised defensively as the Swedes are, and it seems as though El Tri are missing a midfield general who can take control of a game.
On the opposite side, Sweden seem to have lost some confidence since missing the World Cup, and we do not expect they will find too many openings on Wednesday.