Our prediction for this Gold Cup match:
Mexico and Honduras square off against each other at NRG Stadium in the opening match of their 2023 Gold Cup campaign. El Tri failed to impress in the CONCACAF Nations League, with the team suffering a heavy 3-0 loss to their bitter rivals USA in the semis, but they are seen as hot favourites to win Monday’s encounter. Wolverhampton centre-forward Raul Jimenez has been omitted as well as several other footballers from major European leagues, but boss Jaime Lozano still has a number of high-profile players to choose from.
Los Catrachos, on the other hand, experienced all sorts of problems at the back in the Nations League loss (1-4) to Canada, which is probably the main reason why we are going to bet on the Mexicans. Defender Carlos Melendez has been ruled out with injury, with “Chelito” Martinez missing the cut as well, speaking of the away team.
Highlighted Player (Orbelin Pineda):
Orbelin Pineda is Mexican footballer who plays for Guadalajara as a midfielder. Pineda was born in Mexico City on March 24, 1996 and he started his youth career Queretaro at the age of 16. The Mexican footballer continued playing for Queretaro at senior level, but after scoring 8 goals in 44 appearances for the club, he moved to Guadalaraja in 2016.
Pineda is a fantastic reader of the game and he is technically very sharp. Speaking of his international career, Orbelin Pineda made his debut with Mexico national team on September 6, 2018 against Honduras. The two teams faced each other in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification and played out a goalless draw.
Pineda came as a substitute for Jesu Duenas in the 71st minute of the match. He scored his only goal for the Mexico national team in a 3-1 win over El Salvador at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. In 2018 he won the CONCACAF Champions League title with Guadalajara.
Highlighted Team (Honduras):
Honduras are a national football team from Central America that qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time in 1982. Los Catrachos did well to share the spoils with hosts Spain at the showpiece tournament, but they eventually failed to book their place in the knockout stages.
Honduras participated at the 2010 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals as well, but they failed to impress at the tournaments in South Africa and Brazil. Winning of the 1981 CONCACAF Championship is undisputedly the team’s biggest success and it has to be noted that they finished the final round in top position in the standings, two points clear of El Salvador and three above Mexico.
Los Catrachos were beaten by Canada in the 1985 Gold Cup final, with the team finishing the 1991 tournament as runners-up as well. Wilson Palacios, who used to play for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City as regarded as one of the most notable footballers who represented Honduras national team on the international stage.