Panama vs. Mexico: Lineup projection

Bob Levey

Chepo could make sweeping changes, but there's no reason to believe that he will.

'Chepo' Jose Manuel de la Torre made no changes from the team that drew 2-2 with Nigeria against Jamaica on Tuesday. While the first half was mostly poor from El Tri, they came out guns blazing early in the second half and the goal came as a direct result of decisions that he made. Chances are, he's not going to deviate much from what got him the victory.

However, Panama is a different team than Jamaica, so we're calling one change. Another, we think is very possible but we're not willing to make the call. Projected team and explanations below.

Mexico (4-4-2): Jose Corona; Carlos Salcido, Hector Moreno, 'Maza' Francisco Rodriguez, Severo Meza; Andres Guardado, Gerardo Torrado, Jesus Zavala, Pablo Barrera; Aldo de Nigris, 'Chicharito' Javier Hernandez

football formations

You're dropping the future of Mexican football?

Porto is going to sell Diego Reyes to one of the biggest clubs on earth for a ton of money in two or three years and he's going to become one of the greatest players to ever put on the El Tri shirt. But right now, he's a teenager and he's going to get mauled by strikers as physical as Panama's, on the road, with lax CONCACAF officiating. Reyes and Moreno should start ahead of Maza in most games, but not this one. Blas Perez will be licking his chops if he sees Reyes in the team.

Sticking with the 4-4-2?

Would you drop Aldo? He was great against Nigeria and made a great run and finish on the winner against Jamaica. It's very difficult to justify moving him or Chicharito, the clear face of the team and most dangerous attacker, to the bench.

Chepo seemed mad at Barrera when he pulled him from the Jamaica game.

Yep, and that's the one other change that I can see happening. Between his red card against Nigeria and his less than stellar showing against Jamaica, he's on thin ice. I wouldn't be stunned to see Javier Aquino, Gerardo Flores or *shudders* Giovani dos Santos as a makeshift right winger. My best guess if Barrera sits is Jerry Flores getting the nod.

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