5 Things Mexico Boss Miguel Herrera Should Test in Preview vs. Bosnia Game
The World Cup preparation game against Ecuador was costly for Miguel Herrera, as Luis Montes and Rafael Marquez left the pitch injured, and now the squad must be ready to face Bosnia-Herzegovina at Soldier Field, on Tuesday, June 3.
Herrera has 10 days to figure out how he will tackle Mexico's debut in this summer's World Cup. To do that he needs to make the most of El Tri's final preparation games against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Portugal.
There's a lot of room for improvement, and Herrera needs to take his chances this week. The final countdown has started and he knows it.
Alfredo Talavera Deserves a Chance
The battle between Guillermo Ochoa and Jesus Corona for the starting position has been fierce, but these two are not the only goalkeepers who can make an impact.
Alfredo Talavera is a 31-year-old who has proven to be in great shape and ready to make an appearance if Miguel Herrera needs him.
He was the starting keeper at the 2011 Gold Cup after Ochoa was suspended because he tested positive for clenbuterol (he was later cleared).
Talavera has been a key player for Toluca, where he has been playing since 2009. Little by little he established himself as a reliable player with great reflexes and a superb aerial game.
In the latest tournament of the Liga MX (Clausura 2014) he allowed fewer goals than any other keeper.
An Alternative Formation
Miguel Herrera usually goes with a 5-3-2 formation. This system gives the team a lot of fluidity and dynamism, especially through the flanks, but it has downsides too.
The main disadvantage is that there is only one central midfielder who has to be on top of his game to become a real link with the forwards. This player must have defensive skills because he works as a shield to reduce the workload for the back line.
With the left-back and right-back playing as flying full-backs, the centre-backs have to make a better coverage and reduce spaces.
The 5-3-2 can be risky against teams like Brazil and Croatia. They are quick and accurate, plus they have a strong midfield thanks to Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Oscar, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
It would be good for Herrera to use an alternative formation in case he needs to make adjustments at the World Cup.
Carlos Salcido as a Centre-Back
Rafael Marquez left the game against Ecuador because he was taken to the hospital due to a possible foot injury. Later that evening the centre-back confirmed through his Twitter account that he was fine.
Carlos Salcido's flexibility allows him to play in different positions; one of them being centre-back.
Marquez didn't suffer a fracture, but it was a tough blow, so the coach might want to give him some rest. This is where he can try Salcido as the leader of the defense.
He took Marquez's place on Saturday and did a good job containing the Ecuadorians' attack. It was the first time he led the defense, and the game against Bosnia-Herzegovina is the perfect opportunity to keep trying him in that position.
Change the Attacking Duo
Oribe Peralta locked his place in the World Cup team earlier this year. Back in March, after the Nigeria friendly, Miguel Herrera said in a press conference that Peralta had secured his ticket to Brazil.
Now, with Giovani dos Santos on the team, Herrera seems to have found a lethal duo for the tournament, but there's one little detail: The attack has become very predictable.
Against Israel, El Hermoso touched almost every ball that went into the box. It seemed as if El Tri had a big dependency on Peralta.
The squad needs to have more options in the attacking zone, and that's why Herrera must try other players, like Raul Jimenez, who is going through a great moment, and Javier Hernandez, whose experience in international competitions will come in handy.
Marco Fabian Should Start on the Left Flank
Miguel Herrera gave Marco Fabian a chance to play against the United States last April.
In the first half, Fabian was not at his best because he was not playing his natural position of left wing. In the last 45 minutes, he was moved to that flank and immediately started to send crosses and create opportunities.
Aside from his speed and dribbling skills, Fabian has a gifted left foot and so his long-distance shots can be a very useful weapon for El Tri.
Since Luis Montes will miss the tournament due to an injury, Fabian can be the perfect sub. He came in for Montes in the game against Ecuador and quickly made an impact on the score.
Fabian is in great shape and the momentum he has gathered couldn't have come at a better time.