Mexico (-312) at El Salvador (+750), Draw (+350)
A serious mismatch is on tap in CONCACAF’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers as Mexico meet El Salvador at Cuscatlan in San Salvador on Friday (10:00 PM Eastern).
Lumped in a group with Mexico, Honduras, and Canada, El Salvador are the only team in the quartet that has yet to win a game (0-2-2, 2 points). They squandered their best chance by drawing Honduras at home, 2-2; they followed that up with a disappointing 2-0 away loss to the Hondurans.
If El Salvador lose again on Friday – and either Canada or Honduras win in their matchup – El Salvador will be eliminated.
Though they’re playing at home, where they’ve earned two draws so far, El Salvador will struggle to come out of Friday’s game with a point. Mexico are a perfect 4-0-0 in qualifying with a +10 goal differential (10 goals for, zero goals against). El Tri dominated the first matchup between the sides on home soil, 3-0.
Mexico’s last competitive fixture, which came at the 2016 Copa America, resulted in one of the worst losses in team history, a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of eventual champion Chile. But don’t let that skew your perception of just how much better Mexico is than El Salvador.
The Salvadorans have been outscored 9-1 in their last three matches, which includes a 4-0 home loss to Armenia and a 3-1 loss in Peru (both friendlies) in addition to their last WC qualifier against Honduras.
Mexico, on the other hand, is 3-1-1 in their last five, and own wins over Jamaica (2-0, Copa America), Uruguay (3-1, Copa America), and that same Chilean team (1-0, friendly) that hammered them last time out. They’ve also won each of the last five against El Salvador, outscoring their overmatched opponent 16-2.
You won’t get much of a payout, but there’s no value on anything but a Mexico win.
Pick: Mexico (-312).
Photo credit: Nizam Uddin (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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