Is the Pressure on Mexico?

On November 13th Mexico is the big home favorite facing New Zealand in the first leg of the Intercontinental World Cup playoffs, but are they the ones with the pressure? Mexico has qualified for every World Cup since 1990, but they had a poor showing in CONCAF qualifying coming in fourth place.

Mexico has only two wins in their last 10 matches and in that span they have sacked three managers. Miguel Herrera is now the manager and he will be counted on to revive a proud national club that won the 2012 Olympics, but has struggled since.

Check the latest odds and matchup stats for Mexico and New Zealand.

Mexico did beat Finland 4-2 at home in a recent friendly and New Zealand manager New Ricki Herbert stated, "Whether or not they can take that into a pretty hostile environment where the pressure is 100 per cent going to be on them, I do have my doubts."

Even in poor form Mexico is the major betting favorite in the first leg being held at the 105,000 capacity Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Bet365 has them at -600 with New Zealand at +1200 and a draw line of +650.

The Kiwis are known for their great defense and while their offense is not a dynamic one they have big hopes with Shane Smeltz and Marco Rojas being named to the squad to face Mexico. Smeltz is a veteran than scored against Italy in the 2010 World Cup and Rojas is a young gun that moved to Stuttgart in the off-season.