***Due to the constraints of my job – posting an analysis of the game, that’s set to kick off as I’m writing this, would be delayed until nearly midnight (see the Uruguay recap). In light of this, I’ve decided to embarrass myself by writing a preview post and giving my horrible prediction of the outcome between these two teams chasing the place to advance to the round of sixteen***
With second rounds of matches being played from the group stage, fans and teams alike are starting to do the math to see what results they need to advance. With these two teams, we could be in for a fierce ninety minutes of football. Already noticeable is the fact that Florent Malouda has been placed in the starting line-up by Domenech – which took all of three quarters of the opening match to sub him.
Opening the World Cup this year against South Africa, Mexico squeaked by with one point, narrowly escaping a loss in the last minute as they were saved by the post. France themselves had a pitiful opener against Uruguay which was a horribly depressing ninety minutes not living up to the standards of The Beautiful Game.
My prediction for this game, 2-1 France. While suffering the constant talk of Raymond Domenech and their lackluster performance in Euro 2008 – this is their last effort to set themselves up for an easier road in the upcoming weeks. They simply cannot afford a do-or-die situation in their final match of the group stage against South Africa, who will be gunning at the possibility of sneaking through, or simply playing to ruin the French hopes of advancing. While Mexico may be able to go up first, they will not be able to hold the lead for ninety minutes.