Mexico will hope to reach the last-16 of a World Cup for the eighth consecutive tournament when they compete in Qatar later this year.
Gerardo Martino's side finished second in the CONCACAF qualifying, with only goal difference separating them and Canada. Mexico won eight of their 14 qualifiers to secure their spot in Qatar, but they will need to improve their form if they are to compete against some of the world's best teams this winter.
Mexico have managed to escape the group stages in every tournament since World Cup 1994, but they were also eliminated in the last 16 in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018.
At 150/1, they are seen as one of the outsiders to win the World Cup in Qatar, with the likes of Uruguay, Switzerland, Senegal and the USA all considered to have a better chance of lifting the prestigious trophy.
|When:||20th November - 18th December 2022|
|How to watch:||All matches will be shown on either the BBC or ITV|
|Odds:||Brazil 9/2, England 11/2, France 6/1, Spain 8/1, Argentina 7/1|
Mexico have competed in 16 World Cups in the past, but they have never managed to get their hands on the famous FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Their best performance in the tournament is a quarter-final appearance, which they have achieved on two occasions in 1970 and 1986.
In 2018, they were unfortunate not to be given an easier draw out of the group stages, having beaten Germany and South Korea.
However, they were handed a last-16 fixture against Brazil as they finished second to Sweden in Group F on goal difference. Mexico did manage to keep the game goalless until half-time before losing 2-0 after goals from Neymar and Roberto Firmino.
|Quarter-finals||1970 and 1986|
|Last-16||1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018|
Mexico managed to lose only two of their World Cup qualifiers, with just the United States and Canada getting the better of them.
Martino's troops started their campaign in September 2021, beating Jamaica 2-1 on home soil. They enjoyed a six-match unbeaten run before losing 2-0 to the United States in Cincinnati in November.
Mexico lost successive games after coming unstuck against Canada just four days after their defeat to the USA, but they responded well as Martino's team beat Jamaica 2-1 at the turn of the year.
A six-match unbeaten run got them over the line and they did well under pressure, with the United States and Costa Rica finishing three points behind them.
Mexico have been drawn into Group C alongside Argentina, Poland and Saudi Arabia. While Martino and his players will feel they have what it takes to finish above Saudi Arabia, they will need to be at their best to get results out of their other two opponents.
El Tri are 5/1 to win Group C, while they are 10/11 to qualify from the group.
Instead of a relatively easy passage out of the group, Mexico will need to silence Argentina star Lionel Messi, who could be playing in his last World Cup.
World Cup - Football: Group C preview
World Cup - Football: Argentina team profile
World Cup - Football: Poland team profile
World Cup - Football: Saudi Arabia team profile
Martino made a name for himself back home in Argentina, making over 550 appearances as an attacking midfielder.
He played for the likes of Newell's Old Boys and Lanus before he hung up the boots in 1996, embarking on a nomadic coaching two years later.
He is enjoying his 13th spell as a manager, taking the Mexican national job in 2019.
Martino led his side to the final of the 2021 Gold Cup, where they were beaten 1-0 by the USA.
Wolves striker Jimenez remains the poster boy for Mexican football, although injuries continue to plague the Premier League star.
Jimenez has endured a stop-start few years since he fractured his skull, but if he can prove his fitness ahead of Qatar, Mexico know they have a player who can handle the big occasion.
Javier Hernandez, who now plays his football for LA Galaxy, has been frozen out of late, but there have been calls back home to reinstate him this winter.
Mexico's star players are sadly coming to the end of their careers and it could be time for one of their youngsters to step up to the plate.
Hirving Lozano is well known in Europe thanks to his allegiance to Napoli, but he has only scored 15 goals in 58 appearances. Winger Diego Lainez has already made 20 appearances for his country at the age of 22, and after joining Braga on loan, he could be in line for a big few months in 2022.
Lainez has made 55 appearances for Real Betis since 2019, but a regular run in Braga's first team could be perfect for his national-team prospects.
Mexico predicted line-up (4-1-4-1): Guillermo Ochoa; Jorge Sanchez Ramos, Nestor Araujo, Hector Moreno, Jesus Gallardo; Edson Alvarez; Hirving Lozano, Hector Herrera, Luis Romo, Jesus Corona; Raul Jimenez.
Martino has traditionally used a 4-1-4-1 formation while Mexico boss, with his team pressing high up the pitch, while using plenty of width. They have often then switched to a 4-3-3 while in possession in the final third, but goals in recent months have been hard to come by.
In goal, Guillermo Ochoa's exploits mean he retains the No.1 jersey, but at the back, there are still spots to fight for.
Midfielders Edson Alvarez, Hector Herrera, and Luis Romo will feel they can make a real difference in the middle of the park, leaving Lozano, Jesus Corona and Jimenez to try and do some damage in the final third.
The mood back in Mexico appears to be pretty negative, with a lack of goals worrying some supporters.
If Mexico can get a positive result against Poland at 9/5, they will fancy their chances of qualifying behind Argentina, but Martino has already revealed they are not fully prepared for Qatar.
In attack, his side have often lacked a killer instinct and if Jimenez is still carrying a knock, Mexico's team will be unbalanced for the majority of the tournament.
For them to advance past the last-16 stage, Mexico may need the draw to be kind to them and it looks like they require a changing of the guard before they can dream of further progress in future tournaments.
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