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Canada vs. Mexico Preview: A Little Pluck and a Whole Lot of Luck

After a disappointing loss at home, Canada head to Azteca stadium hoping to keep their pride in one of the most difficult venues in CONCACAF.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Matchup

Tonight Canada will face the biggest challenge that CONCACAF has to offer: an away date at Estadio Azteca. Mexico has only ever lost twice in their home stadium during World Cup qualifiers. The last time was a 2-1 win for Honduras during 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Mexico won't be looking to make it three tonight, especially after a 3-0 trouncing of the Canadian team at home. A win tonight and they will officially qualify for the final round of qualifying, although their ticket is pretty well already punched.

What makes winning at Azteca so difficult for the visitors? It's a combination of factors. Earlier this week former Canadian goalkeeper Craig Forrest described playing in Azteca as like playing 100,000 against 11 to Sportsnet. Thankfully for Canada, renovations will mean they will "only" face an estimated crowd of 75,000 tonight. Canada won't be alone either, as a group of Voyageurs have made the trip down. Waking the Red's James Hutton is among them, and you can read about his travels here.

But the point remains, the stadium is intimidating. Oh, and Mexico are darn good at Azteca as well. They aren't really considered a good road team in CONCACAF, which makes Friday's result all that more concerning. It also makes the prospect of today's game heart-wrenching for Canadian supporters.

If Canada want to win, or more realistically get a point or avoid a blowout at Azteca stadium, they will need to be significantly more organized than on Friday. Forget about offense, this will be about limiting Mexico's chances as much as possible. More so, it will be about hoping they miss the chances that are inevitably conceded.

The prevailing theory is that the longer Canada can hold out without allowing a goal, the more desperate the Mexicans will become. This might tempt them to push too many men up the pitch, and Canada could catch them on the counterattack. But this opportunity will only come after at least an hour of perfect defending.

The Lineup

Benito Floro is many things, and don't expect any of them to change now. After his biggest defeat with the national team since 2013, it is more than likely he will stick with the agenda and field a similar lineup against Mexico tonight. The hope will be that this time they better execute his system and are able to get a result.

With that being said, the backline really was the catalyst for a lot of Canada's problems last match, and Floro is likely to make at least one change. Don't expect it to be moving Doneil Henry out of the right back position, however, Floro seems to think he doesn't have a better option at that position.

Scott Arfield likely would have drawn in after a promising second half in his national team debut, but injured his back and did not travel with the team to Mexico City. That means Tosaint Ricketts is likely to start again on the right side of midfield after looking completely out of his depth on Friday.

The Outlook

Bleak, probably. If Canada were going to take any points off of Mexico, the chances were significantly better on home soil. Hopefully they have regrouped enough to make this match competitive, but thinking they will get anything on the road at Azteca is an overstatement. Best case scenario is that Canada keeps it close, and builds momentum for September's games against Honduras and El Salvador. That is really where this round becomes make or break for the Canadian team. The biggest result from tonight likely won't come from the Canada game, it will come from El Salvador-Honduras.

Prediction: 3-1 Mexico.