Preview: Mexico vs. Nigeria – prediction, team news, lineups – Sports Mole

Nigeria will take to the pitch for the first time since March’s World Cup qualification heartbreak when they go head to head with Mexico in a friendly matchup at the AT&T Stadium on Saturday.
The North Americans, meanwhile, head into the game unbeaten in each of their last seven outings across all competitions and will look to keep this fine run alive and kicking.

Mexico's Raul Jimenez celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on March 30, 2022© Reuters
Mexico will be one of 32 nations vying for glory at the World Cup in November after a sensational run in the qualifiers, where they finished second in the CONCACAF qualification standings.
El Tri picked up eight wins, four draws and lost just two of their 14 games to collect 28 points and finish three points above third-placed USA, only behind first-placed Canada on goal difference.
Mexico head into the weekend off the back of a somewhat disappointing goalless draw with Guatemala on April 28 when the two nations locked horns at the Camping World Stadium in the first of their four friendly fixtures ahead of their CONCACAF Nations League opener against Suriname on June 12.
Gerardo Martino‘s men are now unbeaten in each of their last eight outings across all competitions, picking up four wins and four draws since a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Canada in November 2021.
Mexico will fancy their chances of keeping this fine run going as Saturday’s game sees them go up against an opposing side who they are unbeaten against in each of the six previous meetings between the nations, picking up three wins and three draws in that time.
Odion Ighalo pictured for Nigeria in June 2018© Reuters
Nigeria, on the other hand, were last in action on March 29, when they played out a 1-1 draw with rivals and fellow West Africans Ghana — a result which saw the Black Stars beat them to a place in the World Cup courtesy of the away goals rule.
Following a goalless draw in the reverse leg, Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey struck 10 minutes into the game to put Ghana ahead at the Abuja National Stadium, and after William Troost-Ekong converted his 22nd-minute penalty to level matters, the Black Stars held on to repel the hosts and secure a place in the world tournament on away goals.
This followed a similarly heartbreaking run in the Africa Cup of Nations, where the Super Eagles picked up maximum points in the group stages before they were sent packing in the round of 16 courtesy of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tunisia on January 23.
While Nigeria will be looking to quickly get those two disappointments behind them and return to winning ways, they head into the weekend without a win in any of their last nine friendly outings, losing four and picking up five draws in that time.
The West African giants’ last non-competitive victory came over two years ago, when 27-year-old forward Paul Onuachu struck in the opening minute to see off rivals Egypt 1-0 at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in March 2019.

Mexico head coach Gerardo Martino gestures from the sideline during the second half against the United States during a FIFA World Cup Qualifier soccer match at Estadio Azteca on March 25, 2022© Reuters
Mexico have called up 38 players for their upcoming friendlies and this summer’s CONCACAF Nations League, with Martino going for a mixture of youth and experience in the large squad.
Club America man Guillermo Ochoa is one of four goalkeeper names in the squad, while the likes of Johan Vasquez, Nestor Araujo, Gerardo Arteaga and Julian Araujo have been called up at the centre of the park.
Further up the pitch, the likes of Santiago Gimenez, Sevilla’s Jesus Corona, Chivas man Alexis Vega and Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Raul Jimenez are in contention to lead the El Tri attack.
Jimenez, who is currently seventh in the nation’s all-time goalscoring chart with 30 goals in 95 appearances, needs one goal to move into sixth place and draw level with former Universidad Nacional star Enrique Borja.
Hirving Lozano, who registered five goals and five assists for Napoli in the Serie A, remains the most notable absentee for Mexico after the 26-year-old recently underwent a shoulder surgery.
Meanwhile, following their failure to qualify for the forthcoming World Cup, Augustine Eguavoen was relieved of his role as the Super Eagles head coach with 60-year-old Salisu Yusuf temporarily taking over the reins.
The Super Eagles head out to the US with a 30-man squad, with several notable players down the spine of the team, including the likes of veteran forward Ahmed Musa and the Premier League duo of Everton’s Alex Iwobi and Leicester City forward Ademola Lookman.
Veteran defender Leon Balogun and 25-year-old midfielder Joe Aribo, who were part of the Rangers side that suffered a defeat in the Europa League final, have also been named in the squad.
While the attacking duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen have been omitted, Cyriel Desser, who registered 19 goals and five assists for Feyenoord across all competitions, has earned a place in the Eagles camp.
Yusuf, who is also currently in charge of the CHAN Eagles and the Under-23 side, has given room to a few home-based players, including Eyimba FC forward Victor Mbaoma and the goalkeeping duo of Adewale Adeyinka and Ojo Olorunleke.
Mexico possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Sanchez, Montes, Araujo, Gallardo; Herrera, Alvarez, Lainez; Vega, Corona, Jimenez
Nigeria possible starting lineup:
Okoye; Aina, Troost-Ekong, Ajayi, Sanusi; Aribo, Etebo, Iwobi; Lookman, Simon, Dessers

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Still grieving from their World Cup qualifiers disappointment, Nigeria will be looking to restore some pride in this one. However, they face a rampant Mexico side who are unbeaten in eight straight games since last November. We anticipate an end-to-end affair with both sides cancelling out each other’s efforts and settling for a share of the spoils.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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