Posted: 2/6/2013 7:01:57 PM
Covers Posted Soccer: 80-57 +49.17 units
Jamaica at Mexico over 3 -109 9:30 PM EST
Mexico is unquestionably the best team in the COCACAF region and despite what Jamaica did vs. the USA, that wasn’t so much a great team falling to a subpar team instead it was, in my view, a poor US Team falling to a poor Jamaican team that just happened to play better at that given time.
Sometimes we have to throw out the models and handicap the game the old school way... that is, talent vs talent.
Needless to say, things will be more difficult for the Jamaicans tonight, in fact, significantly more difficult as they play at Mexico’s Azteca stadium where the Mexicans have only ever lost 1 world cup qualifying match. This is because Mexico has so many skilled attackers, namely, Hernandez can either break the defence alone or work magnificent dummy/decoys to draw defenders while leaving the ball for unmarked strikers.
I don't want to come off as "touting" this play ... well, first and foremost, given that I don't charge for my picks and analysis, I can't possibily be touting ... but, if ever there was a chance for a blow-out in a world cup qualifier, this one smells like it has the makings of one. This Mexican side can destroy Jamaica tonight and run up the score in no time and while perhaps I may be overly confident, there is a real possibility that this game can be 3-0 by halftime. The real question is how motivated the Mexicans will be to run up the score ... sure they will want to pad their goal differential but since they are the odds on favorite to win qualificiation, their professionalism might be the difference. They won't play with the Jamaicans by feeling sorry for them... They will play their game and force Jamaica to try to stop them.
So as a Jamaican defender, coach or tactician, what do you do? Do you double team Hernandez and leave the other potent attackers open or do you take your chance and go one on one with him only to have him burn you with his speed and exceptional skill?
Let's put this play into context as to why I love it so much. Jamaica just played at the Caribbean cup and looked dreadful failinbg to win any of its four games. Two of the most notable losses for Jamaica in the Caribbean cup were to French Guiana (1:2) and Cuba (0:1). So what do they do? The simplest way to put it is that they cleaned house.
I am of the view that not only are these changes too little too late and even questionable for tonight's clash, but when a team makes so many changes there is always the risk of communication breakdown on the pitch with players being unfamiliar with teammates’ tendencies and positioning. These are mistakes ready to happen.
To give you an idea of how out of sync this team will be tonight, of Jamaica's 23 man squad only 3 players that play in MLS will be there. The team will also include 3 players who are still in high school and barely eligible to play (age) as well as 4 foreign players who have never put on the Jamaican uniform for an international match. How motivated will those players (mostly from the Barclay's Premier League) be to give their all for this game given they are more concerned with their current domestic league obligations.
More importantly, one does not simply “clean house” before a world cup qualifying game set to be played away at Mexico and expect to be competitive in one of the toughest venues in the world against one of the toughest (home) World Cup Qualifying teams. This smells like a disaster waiting to happen.
This new crop of 'Reggae Boys' will go up against a daunting linep that is expected to include a 4-2-3-1 formation of
Corona; Meza, Moreno, Rodriguez, Torres Nilo; Salcido, Herrera; Dos Santos, Fabian, Guardado; Hernandez.
The Mexicans played a tune-up game against Denmark and drew 1-1 for this game They are prepared for this match and know how to beat the Jamaicans. All Mexican players are currently in form given they are all playing in worldwide domestic leages at this time. They surely outclass the Jamaicans on the field and where it counts... talent.
I am not over sensationalizing this when I say that it would be a shocking surprise, perhaps one of the biggest upsets of the year if the Jamaicans even get a result from this match.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Jamaica travels with 3 goalies who have been inactive (meaningful game action) for approximately 3 months;
- The 23 man roster for Jamaica is comprised of 8 players that are inactive so they only have 15 players at their disposal.
- Jamaica has been outscored 12-0 in its last 3 visits to the Azteca Stadium for an average margin of defeat of 4-0.
- Mexico will have all of it’s world class players available
- Team super star Hernandez has 8 goals in 14 appearances for Manchester United against far superior opposition
On any given day, anything can happen. We sports bettors know that. However our job is to handicap the game with what we know and try to keep those "any given day" dreams out of our handicapping. Go with what we know is my motto and it applies for tonight's game.