Mexico vs. Jamaica: Players to Watch in 2014 World Cup Qualifier

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIFebruary 5, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 12:  Andres Guadardo #18 of Mexico celebrates his goal with Javier Hernandez #14 and Javier Rodrigues #2 against Guyana at BBVA Compass Stadium on October 12, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Mexico defeated Guyana 5-0. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The next slate of 2014 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying matches has arrived, and Jamaica will have the unenviable task of taking on Mexico at the infamous Estadio Azteca. 

Walking onto the pitch for Wednesday's game before tens of thousands of manic Mexican fans will be extremely daunting for the Jamaicans, and looking across at the extremely talented El Tri players will not help calm their nerves. 

It will take courage, skill and a little luck for Jamaica to come away with a favorable result in this match, and the team will need some impressive individual performances.

Mexico will be expecting its stars to show up so they can control the game from the outset. Here are the players to keep an eye on during Wednesday's showdown:


Javier Hernandez, Striker, Mexico

Chicharito is the most lethal goalscorer in CONCACAF. He will draw the most attention from both the fans and the Jamaican defenders. 

He has 14 goals in all competitions for Manchester United this season, but he has only hit the back of the net three times in World Cup qualifying. 

The 24-year-old will be eager to perform for his country and add a few more goals to his international tally this year. If the Jamaicans give him an inch of space, he will punish them.

With his explosiveness and prowess in front of net, fans would be wise not to divert their attention away from Hernandez for long, as missing a moment could mean missing a goal.


Jobi McAnuff, Midfielder, Jamaica

The Reading captain may not be much of a goal-scoring threat, but he is certainly a danger to play his teammates into threatening areas of the field. 

In English Premier League play, McAnuff has already racked up five assists this season, and his skill on the wing has led to several impressive moments for the Royals.

If Mexico’s back line has any lapses in concentration, the 31-year-old is completely capable of making Mexico's defenders regret their mistake with a run up the sidelines and pinpoint pass to one of Jamaica’s strikers.

When McAnuff has the ball and is moving forward with pace, keep your eyes glued to the screen, as this is the scenario most likely to lead to a Jamaican goal.


Andres Guardado, Midfielder, Mexico 

Mexico’s attack is extremely dangerous, but this is not entirely due to Hernandez. The United star is El Tri’s poacher up top, but Guardado is responsible for providing a creative spark in midfield.

Guardado has been a key part of Valencia’s squad this season, and he will play an even larger role when he suits up for his country.

With the skill and flare to break down a defense, Guardado will force the Jamaican defense to stay honest instead of focusing entirely on Chicharito.

If the Reggae Boyz do commit too many players to Hernandez, expect Guardado to take full advantage of the space and produce one of the game’s highlights.