Pandora Hughes has all the latest betting information and picks ahead of Canada's crucial World Cup qualifier against Mexico.
Canada has made a solid start to their World Cup qualification campaign, but next up is arguably the CONCACAF region’s toughest assignment: away to Mexico. Let's have a look at this soccer game's odds.
|Mexico v Canada||SpinPalaceSports|
Who Do Bettors Favor for the Mexico v Canada Game?
The historic disparity in soccer talent between these two nations is evident in the head-to-head record. Canada and Mexico have met on a soccer field 36 times and Canada has won only 3, with Mexico emerging victorious on 24 occasions.
Mexico has also dominated the recent record. They’ve won the last five editions of this fixture and you have to back to 2008 to find the last time Canada managed a draw against these opponents. You have to go back even further to find Canada’s last win a 2-1 victory in the 2000 Gold Cup.
So, it is no surprise to see bettors siding with Mexico who will start as big favourites. Tata Martino’s side is a short price to pick up the three points, with Canada rated as 6.6 outsiders with many sportsbooks and the draw in the 3.9 to 4.0 range.
Team Form Ahead of the Game
Going into this qualifying tournament, Canada had a good record, winning nine of their previous twelve, although six of those wins came against teams such as Bermuda, Aruba and Suriname in the initial World Cup qualifying rounds. After kicking off their qualifying campaign with a draw against Honduras, they then earned a creditable draw on the road against the USA before securing their first win of the campaign with a 3-0 home victory over El Salvador.
Mexico has lost three games in 2021: two against the USA and one away friendly in Wales at the start of the year, with ten victories. They kicked off this qualifying campaign with a home win against Jamaica and secured a 1-0 win in Costa Rica, before being held 1-1 in Panama last time.
Selection and Injury Issues
Tata Martino’s side will be strengthened by the return of Raul Jimenez from Wolves and the fit-again Hirving Lozano who has been recovering from an eye injury. They will also have Hector Herrera of Atletico Madrid available. Unfortunately for Martino, Diego Lainez is not yet ready to return to international action, and his absence deprives the squad of a good deal of flexibility as the young Real Betis star can play in a range of positions in midfield and attack.
Canada will also have a strong squad, with key men Alphonso Davies and Junior Hoilett both available, along with emerging star forward Tajon Buchanan. John Herdman is likely to go with a 343 formation to ensure that they aren’t overrun in midfield.
What Can We Expect from the Mexico v Canada Qualifier?
Mexico has a lot going for them ahead of this game. For a start, there is a wide gap in FIFA rankings between the two sides. Mexico is ranked ninth in the world, while Canada currently occupies the 51st position. There is also the significant home advantage factor.
Playing on your own soil gives a bigger edge in international football than in domestic tournaments and in Mexico’s case, the advantage is particularly pronounced. You have to go back 41 games, to October 2018, to find their last home defeat. The fact that the Estadio Azteca is 2,200 metres above sea level means most visiting teams are playing at an altitude they are not accustomed to.
Then there’s the Martino factor. The Mexico head coach knows all about North American football, having famously coached Atlanta in MLS and it will be harder for Canada to spring a surprise on him than it has been with previous Mexican coaches.
Mexico is beatable. Although they won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2019, they lost their crown to the USA this year, having also finished as runners up to Gregg Berhalter’s side in the CONCACAF Nations League. And it was only three months ago that a weakened Canada side took Mexico deep into injury time in the Gold Cup semi-final. With all their star players now available, Canada will draw confidence from that result.
The fact that this Canadian team is on the up, combined with the inevitable pressure on Martino to win more or less every regional game his team plays, makes me nervous about backing the home side at short odds, so the draw may present a better option.
Other Betting Angles for the Mexico v Canada Game
There are a number of interesting markets available for this game, particularly the goals lines. Although Canada is a big outsider here, it is worth noting that they have scored over 0.5 goals in the second half of each of their last five fixtures so Over 1/2 in the Canada Second Half Goals market looks an interesting bet at odds of around 2.6.
Canada’s road games have also tended to produce plenty of goals. Half of their last eight away games have generated more than 2.5 goals and 75% have seen over 1.5 goals. If you can find odds of better than 2.00 for Over 2.5 in the Total Goals Over/Under market, that could offer some value.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: