Our football match prediction:
Mexico will be aiming to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to Croatia when they take on Republic of Ireland at MetLife Stadium. Coach Juan Carlos Osorio mixed the squad in the defeat to the former Yugoslavian republic, but the Colombian tactician is likely to field a very strong starting line-up against the Boys in Green. The likes of Carlos Vela and Jonathan dos Santos are likely to be recalled to the starting line-up and we predict that the duo is going to pose a big threat for the opposition defenders. Republic of Ireland suffered a 1-0 loss to Iceland in March and it has to be noted that under 2.5 goals have been netted in four of their last five games in all competitions. The two teams shared the spoils in each of their last three meetings in friendly games and, taking everything into account, they are likely to share the spoils in Friday’s football game.
Highlighted Player (Raul Jimenez):
Argentine forward Raul Jimenez began his career within the youth ranks of Club America, a club he went on to play 102 matches in all competitions and score 39 goals for before his 2014 move to Atletico Madrid. Despite signing a six-year deal with La Liga outfit in a reported transfer fee worth €11 million, Raul Jimenez never really managed to get his foot on the ground with the Colchineros. After only 21 games and one goal for Atletico Madrid, the Mexico international moved to Portugal after his collapsed loan move to West Ham. Raul Jimenez missed the flight to London after reportedly oversleeping, but various reports suggest that he was advised by his agent Jorge Mendes to choose Benfica instead. Portuguese giants initially acquired 50% of the player’s economic rights, while the remaining share of Jimenez’s contract was purchased in the summer of 2016 for a fee believed to be around €12 million. During his maiden season with the Eagles Mexico international played 28 Primeira Liga games, contributing with five goals during the process.
Highlighted Team (Ireland):
Competing as an independent entity since 1953, Republic of Ireland have struggled to match the world’s best national teams ever since, although they did achieve several respectable results on the road. Their best ever result, the 1990 World Cup quarter-final, was achieved with a big smile from Lady Luck seeing that the Irish reached the last eight without winning a single match. They have since reached the last 16 stage at the 1994 and 2002 tournaments, while only qualifying for three European Championship finals (1988, 2012, 2016). The Irish were in the top 10 of the FIFA Rankings in 1993 and 1994, but have failed to repeat the success in the next twenty odd years, and it appears they are no closer to bridging the gap behind European powerhouses. Robbie Keane holds the record for most national team caps and goals at the same time, having bagged 67 in 143 appearances, whereas Niall Quinn, Steve Staunton, Damien Duff, Tony Cascarino and Don Givens are some of the other star players.