The World Cup draw is set to take place on Friday and Mexico will once again be present. A new system that sets the pots based on FIFA rankings and not geographic location looks to benefit the tournament and also Mexico, as it's less likely to have a “Group of Death”. Here we are going to look at my choice for best and worst possible rivals for Mexico in the 2018 World Cup.
Mexico is in Pot 2, which means they will not face the tough teams like Spain and England. That said, Mexico should be on the lookout for what teams land in the neighboring group for a possible Round of 16 match-up. Peru and Switzerland look to be the best possible match-up in the second round, while Spain and England are the toughest.
Best rivals for Mexico: Russia, Poland
Of the seeded teams, the weakest by far are the hosts and Poland. Poland would possibly be the best rival since the host have improved from the Confederations Cup and will have a better home field advantage this time.
Worst rivals for Mexico : Germany
Germany is possibly the favorite for the World Cup and along with Argentina, historically Mexico’s toughest match-up at World Cups. Still depending on the other rivals, it might be possible that a strong seed might not be as big as a problem.
Best rivals for Mexico: Tunisia, Iran
Tunisia is definitely the weakest rival in the pot. Iran is a tough defensive team but it's not as strong as some of the other tough teams in this pot.
Worst rivals for Mexico: Senegal, the Scandinavian countries
Senegal has a style of play that has given Mexico headaches in the past. Same thing with the Nordic teams. Their big physical style and tough defensive skills are really tough for a Mexican team that normally suffers against defensive teams.
Best rivals for Mexico: Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia, SAUDI ARABIA!
Of all 31 teams in the World Cup (including the two CONCACAF teams that Mexico can't face in the group stages) no team is a better rival than Saudi Arabia. When Saudi Arabia was an AFC powerhouse, Mexico had some of their best ever results against them in the Confederations cup. This time, they aren't as good. More so, the squad is made up of only Saudi Arabian league players and they just fired their coach, Edgardo Bauza. If new coach Juan Antonio Pizzi reaches the World Cup, he will have a team with an already weak squad with only 6 months of experience. No doubt the best possible rival.
Worst rivals for Mexico: Nigeria, Serbia
The biggest danger for Mexico in Pot 3/4 is Nigeria. Nigeria looks to be the best African team. It's a style that gives Mexico fits, and Nigeria looks set to live to their potential, after they recently looked great in beating Argentina. This is the team to avoid. Serbia is also a tough European team that can give Mexico trouble.