Mexico vs. Canada: Time, TV, streaming, prediction for CONCACAF World Cup qualifier

by 24USATVOct. 8, 2021, 2 a.m. 15
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In what is arguably the most fascinating matchup in the Oct. 7 slate of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, regional powers Mexico will host upstarts Canada at the Estadio Azteca. In past years, there would be little doubt that El Tri would win. That’s not the case this time.

Throughout 2021, Canada has shown that it has been transformed under manager John Herdman who has infused it with belief that advancing to its first World Cup since 1986 is a real possibility. It helps to have a generation of players that are starring in Europe, beginning with Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and LOSC Lille’s Jonathan David. Canada and Mexico enter the match as No. 1 (Mexico) and No. 2 (Canada) in the World Cup qualifying standings. The top three teams earn direct berths to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Unfortunately for Canada, it’s getting a Mexico team that is buoyed by the return of some of its most important personalities. Raul Jimenez is back in the fold after nearly a year out with a skull fracture and he’s reportedly looking good in training. Chucky Lozano also returns after a lengthy spell on the sidelines following an equally horrific injury suffered against Trinidad & Tobago in the Gold Cup. And then there’s Mexico manager Gerardo "Tata" Martino who’s back to work after missing September’s matches with cornea surgery.

Martino noted how he’s been studying Canada’s matches against the USA (a narrow 1-0 loss at the Gold Cup and a 1-1 draw in September) and against his own Mexican side in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semis. In that instance, El Tri needed a controversial goal in the ninth minute of stoppage time to get by a Canadian team that played with personality and gave it all it could handle.

“We took a big message in the Gold Cup in Houston with 75,000 Mexicans cheering their team on,” Herdman told media in his pregame press conference. “When we play, it will be no backward step. We want to keep stepping forward. This group of men are ready and, I think, really excited just to express themselves in this coliseum [Estadio Azteca].”

And that’s ultimately what Canada is hoping to accomplish in this match: Three points would obviously be nice, but more importantly, they want another positive showing that proves to the rest of the teams in the region, including Mexico, that it’s a real contender for one of the World Cup berths and no longer the pushover it once was. The Canadians already have Martino on alert: In his pregame presser he highlighted Canada’s speed, and specifically Davies, stating how his “abilities can appear [in a game] no matter how guarded you might be.”

How to watch Mexico vs. Canada in USA

The match will be broadcast in the USA by Univision and TUDN in Spanish. Both channels are available to stream on fuboTV with a free 7-day trial available to new users. It will be available in English on CBS streaming platform Paramount+.

The Estadio Azteca in Mexico City will be at 75 percent capacity for the match, the highest cap permitted post-pandemic.

Tata Martino has options, especially at the forward positions. We’ll see if he opts to field the attacking trident that has produced in the past now that Wolves forward Raul Jimenez is back healthy and scoring in the English Premier League.

Herdman confirmed that Atiba Hutchinson, Cyle Larin and Lucas Cavallini have still not recovered from knocks and will miss the trip to Mexico. While Herdman is still hopeful he could get the trio back at some point to play in this October window, Canada will definitely be without starting goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who’s still recovering from COVID-19.

Junior Hoilett and David Wotherspoon also did not travel with the Canadian team to Mexico due to strict UK quarantine requirements for travelers to Mexico City that would have kicked in upon their return to their Britain-based clubs. Scott Kennedy was not called up due to injury.

This is a different Canada side, and as long as Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David and Stephen Eustaquio are out there, Les Rouges are capable of scoring — and even winning — despite what history says (three wins in 36 all-time meetings and never in Mexico).

For those feeling extra daring, there are plenty of bold wagering opportunities: Canada double chance (i.e. win or tie at +145) or the Canada double chance parlayed with the over 1.5 total goals (+245). But we’ll play it safer with a recommendation of the Canada +1 Asian Handicap at -125 and shrinking by the hour: If Canada loses by a goal it qualifies as a push. A Canada draw or victory and you’re a winner.
• Both Teams To Score: Yes +115 / No -155

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