Our football match prediction:
Mexico will be looking to secure automatic qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals with a win over Panama at Estadio Azteca. El Tri failed to impress at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but it has to be noted that coach Juan Carlos rested key players for the tournament in USA. The Mexicans have been impressive in the 2018 WC qualifiers and they will be looking to put icing on the cake with a victory over los Canaleros. West Ham United attacker Javier Hernandez Chicharito has been in a fine form of late and he is likely to pose a big threat for the opposition defenders. Saturday’s football match is of big importance for Panama as well as they sit in the play-offs berth ahead of the trip to Ciudad de Mexico. However, seeing that El Tri are a real force to be reckoned with at home, we predict that the visitors will return to Panama empty-handed.
Highlighted Player (Hernandez):
Javier Hernandez or Chicharito is a 27-year-old striker who plays for German Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen. He began his professional career in 2006 playing for the Mexican club Guadalajara. His first break came in 2010, ahead of the FIFA World Cup, when he became the first Mexican player to join the English Premier League side Manchester United. He was very effective at United endearing himself to the fans with some crucial goals. Chicharito played for Real Madrid in 2014-15 season on loan and had limited success with them. But he revived his career with a move to Leverkusen in 2015 with whom he has regained his prolific scoring record. Hernandez carries his prolific form to national colors too. Having made his senior national debut in 2009, Chicharito has 43 goals from 80 games for the national team. He is the second highest goal scorer of all-time for the Mexico national team.
Highlighted Team (Panama):
Established in 1937, the Panama national team is a member of CONCACAF confederation which has seen their reputation grow significantly over the past decade. Los Canaleros finished as runners-up in the 2005 and 2013 Gold Cup respectively, while they also reached the fourth round for the 2006 and 2014 World Cup CONCACAF qualifications in that order. Panama were denied their place in the play-offs in 2014 in the last 90 seconds of the ultimate match with USA as they conceded two late goals in stoppage time as they crashed out of the qualification. Los Canaleros are heading into the Copa America Centenario as the winners of the qualifying play-offs and under the guidance of former Colombia and Ecuador head coach Henan Dario Gomez they will try to build on their most recent momentum. Midfielder Gabriel Gomez is the most capped player for Panama with his 125 appearances since 2003, while Luis Tejada is the team’s top scorer with 42 goals in 94 appearances so far.