A regular participant in the FIFA World Cup since its tournament debut in 1930, Mexico will be making its 16th World Cup appearance at Russia 2018. Winners of seven CONCACAF Gold Cup titles since 1993, El Tri have emerged as perennial contenders in international competition across the Americas.

However, the Mexicans have failed to get past the group stage in each of their past six World Cup appearances, reaching the quarterfinals as the World Cup host nation on two occasions. That includes their run in 1986, when they tallied three wins, an all-time record for Mexico at the World Cup, and fell just short of a semifinal berth with a heartbreaking loss on penalties to West Germany.

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Mexico’s Odds to Win World Cup: +8000

Mexico will have a lot to prove at this year’s tournament after getting unceremoniously bounced from the Round of 16 by the Netherlands four years ago on the strength of a penalty kick four minutes into extra time.

However, occasionally shaky performances in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying combined with an unfavorable draw that pits the Mexicans against Germany in the group stage have taken their toll on the Tricolor, leaving them in the middle of the pack in World Cup betting at a lengthy +8000.

Mexico’s Odds to Win Group F: +500

The daunting task of claiming a World Cup championship got that much harder for Mexico after the CONCACAF powerhouse was drawn into what many observers consider to be the “Group of Death” at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

In addition to Germany, leading the way as a heavy -310 favorite to finish atop the table in Group F, the Tricolor must also contend with a surprising squad from Sweden, and South Korea.

While the Mexicans sit well back of Germany as a +500 wager on the odds to win Group F, they maintain solid +110 odds to advance to the knockout stage. However, Sweden sits close on Mexico’s heels, with +600 odds to win the group, and +125 odds to advance.

The Swedes will travel to Russia on a high after pulling off a stunning 1-0 aggregate win over Italy in last fall’s UEFA World Cup qualifying playoff, and have also enjoyed historical success against the Tricolor on the international stage, posting wins in two of four all-time meetings, including a 3-0 rout during the group stage of the 1958 World Cup.

Mexico’s Best World Cup Bets

While Sweden represents a real threat to Mexico’s chances to advance past the group stage at the 2018 World Cup, the odds of El Tri posting at least two wins against Group F opponents sit at -550.

The Mexicans can do themselves a big favor by avoiding defeat in their tournament-opening match against Germany, in which they are pegged as +650 underdogs. While Mexico has never posted a win over the Germans on the international stage, they have forced the world champions to score late goals to claim victory in two of their past three matchups, and the game line odds of their June 17 clash ending in a draw sit at an intriguing +350.

Mexico’s Players to Watch: Javier Hernandez, Carlos Vela

While there is no shortage of players from Liga MX on the roster of Mexico’s squad at this year’s World Cup, it is a pair of Mexican snipers playing abroad who lead the way as favorites to be the national side’s top goal scorers at this year’s tournament.

Javier Hernandez, affectionately called Chicharito or “Little Pea” by Mexican football fans, joins Carlos Vela as a +150 co-favorite to emerge as Mexico’s top goal scorer at Russia 2018. Hernandez emerged as Mexico’s all-time leading goal scorer in international competitions by scoring his 47th career goal in a friendly against Croatia in 2017, but has struggled in his first season with West Ham United, tallying just eight markers in 33 appearances.

Vela has enjoyed much more success in his first season with Los Angeles FC finding the back of the net five times in his first six outings, and has potted 18 goals in 62 career appearances with Mexico’s national team.

Mexico’s Road to Russia

Mexico closed out its CONCACAF World Cup qualification schedule on a losing note, dropping a 3-2 decision to Honduras on October 10. However, that matchup meant nothing to the Tricolor, who had already clinched a berth at Russia 2018 by going undefeated in their previous nine qualifiers and finishing atop the table with a 6-3-1 win/draw/loss record.

The Mexicans continued their strong play by going undefeated in four subsequent friendlies, including clean-sheet victories over Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iceland, but suffered a stunning 1-0 loss to Croatia in front of a partisan crowd at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 27.

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Mexico's 2018 World Cup Squad
Number Player Position Club Caps
1 José Corona GK Cruz Azul 52
12 Alfredo Talavera GK Toluca 27
13 Guillermo Ochoa GK Standard Liège 94
4 Rafael Márquez DEF CF Atlas 145
2 Hugo Ayala DEF Tigres UANL 43
3 Carlos Salcedo DEF Eintracht Frankfurt 21
5 Diego Reyes DEF Porto 55
15 Héctor Moreno DEF Real Sociedad 92
16 Héctor Herrera DEF Porto 66
21 Edson Álvarez DEF América 13
6 Jonathan dos Santos MID LA Galaxy 32
7 Miguel Layún MID Sevilla 64
10 Giovani dos Santos MID LA Galaxy 105
17 Jesús Corona MID Porto 36
18 Andrés Guardado MID Betis 145
20 Javier Aquino MID Tigres UANL 53
23 Jesús Gallardo MID Monterrey 23
8 Marco Fabián FWD Eintracht Frankfurt 39
9 Raúl Jiménez FWD Benfica 63
11 Carlos Vela FWD LAFC 68
14 Javier Hernández FWD West Ham 102
19 Oribe Peralta FWD América 67
22 Hirving Lozano FWD PSV 28
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