Mexico Vs. El Salvador FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Preview, Prediction, Betting Odds & Live Steam [POLL]

Juan Carlos Osorio
Mexico's national soccer team coach Juan Carlos Osorio gives instrucitions to his players during a practice session in Mexico City, Mexico November 10, 2015. Mexico will play against El Salvador in a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match on November 13 in Mexico City. REUTERS/ Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY – Azteca Stadium will be rocking on Friday night as Mexico begins their 2018 World Cup quest with a qualifier against El Salvador. Both teams are in Group A along with Canada and Honduras as the winner of the group will automatically advance to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Only 300 miles separate these countries as they each play in their first qualifying game. The game also marks the first game for newly appointed Mexican National Team Coach Juan Carlos Osorio who was named the manager of El Tri in October after Mexico's triumphant victory over the United States in the CONCACAF Cup.

Mexico enters the game as the #24 team in the world, but should be ranked much higher in the FIFA rankings after an impressive 2015. They won the CONCACAF Gold Cup defeated Jamaica in the finals and have impressive friendly victories in addition to their victory over the U.S. last month. Overall, Mexico is undefeated in their last 12 matches.

Leading the Mexican charge is Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez whose confidence is at an all time high after a terrific club campaign with Bayer Leverkusen. Hernandez also scored his first ever international goal against the United States in Mexico's 3-2 victory at the Rose Bowl on October 10th.

Guillermo "Memo" Ochoa is back in net for Mexico and Carlos Vela and Andres Guardado look to continue their success for the national team as both players have been hot for El Tri in 2015.

El Salvador enter the game ranked 94th in the latest FIFA rankings. They are expected to finish last in Group A behind Honduras, Canada and Mexico. If the odds weren't against them already, they have to play in Mexico City, in one of the largest and loudest stadiums in the world. An upset over Mexico in these conditions would certainly be one of the biggest upsets of the year, and put a significant dent in Mexico's plans to automatically qualify for the World Cup.

El Salvador has not reached a World Cup since 1982, and hope that an upset victory over Mexico can be the first step among many in order to end that 33-year drought. Their best player is their goalkeeper, Henry Hernandez, who is expected to be the man between the pipes on Friday.

They are led on offense by Rafael Burgos and enter into the match on a four-game losing streak against Mexico. El Tri has outscored El Salvador 11-3 in those last four games and will need to put the clamps down on Chicharito in order to have a chance in this game.

Betting Odds: Mexico -2.5 goals
Over/Under: 3 goals

Prediction: 3-0 Mexico

Mexico and El Salvador will square off on Friday, November 13 at 9:00PM EST at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, Mexico. The game will air live on Univision and can be live streamed here.

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Michael Duarte

Michael J. Duarte is a Los Angeles based writer. Born and raised in the City of Angels, Michael did his undergraduate work at the University of California Santa Barbara and a graduate program at the University of Southern California. Michael was awarded the Paul Lazarus Screenwriting Scholarship Award in 2004 and the Corwin Writing Award for his feature screenplay, "Chasing 4:00" in 2005. In addition to Sports writing, Michael is an avid marathon runner and fan of the Magic Bullet blender.