MEXICO have gone out in the last 16 at the last five World Cups. They will be looking to finally go further but look to have a tough task just to match that achievement.


Outright odds: 200/1

To win group: 9/1

To qualify: 11/8


Full squad: Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Rafael Marquez (Leon), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Espanyol), Paul Aguilar (America), Carlos Salcido (Tigres), Francisco 'Maza' Rodriguez (America), Miguel Layun (America), Andres Guardado (Bayer Leverkusen), Jose Juan Vazquez (Leon), Juan Carlos Medina (America), Hector Herrera (Porto), Carlos Pena (Leon), Luis Montes (Leon), Marco Fabian (Cruz Azul), Isaac Brizuela (Toluca), Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United), Raul Jimenez (America), Alan Pulido (Tigres), Giovani dos Santos (Villarreal).

Manager: Miguel Herrera

World Cup record: Twice quarter-finalists (1970, 1986), five-time last 16 (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010)

How they qualified (most recent 1st): Unimpressively. After predictably cruising into the final six-team qualification group, CONCACAF heavyweights Mexico laboured to fourth spot and a play-off against New Zealand after winning only two of their 10 games and scoring just seven goals. New Zealand, though, were admittedly dispatched in some style, Mexico prevailing 9-3 on aggregate to secure a sixth straight World Cup finals appearance.

v New Zealand (away) 4-2 (HT 3-0) Peralta 14, 29, 33, Pena 86

v New Zealand (home) 5-1 (HT 2-0) Aguilar 32, Jimenez 40, Peralta 48, 80, Marquez 84

v Costa Rica (away) 1-2 (HT 1-1) Peralta 29

v Panama (home) 2-1 (HT 1-0) Peralta 40, Jimenez 85

v USA (away) 0-2 (HT 0-0)

v Honduras (home) 1-2 (HT 1-0) Peralta 5

v Costa Rica (home) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v Panama (away) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v Jamaica (away) 1-0 (HT 0-0) de Nigris 48

v USA (home) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v Honduras (away) 2-2 (HT 1-0) Hernandez 28, 54

v Jamaica (home) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v El Salvador (home) 2-0 (HT 0-0) Peralta 64, Hernandez 85

v Guyana (away*) 5-0 (HT 0-0) Guardado 78, Peralta 79, Pollard OG 82, Hernandez 84, Reyna 86

v Costa Rica (home) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Hernadez 61

v Costa Rica (away) 2-0 (1-0) Salcido 43, Zavala 52)

v El Salvador (away) 2-1 (HT 0-0) Zavala 60, Moreno 82)

v Guyana (home) 3-1 (HT 2-0) Salcido 11, Giovani dos Santos 15, Rodrigues OG 51 *Although officially a home match for Guyana, the game was played at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

Goalscorers: Santos Laguna striker Oribe Peralta scored three of Mexico's seven goals in the final qualifying round, with Javier Hernandez netting twice. Peralta scored five across the two legs against New Zealand and is considered by many observers to be the finest striker playing outside Europe.

Half-time/full-time: Of the two victories in the final qualifying round, Mexico led at the break in one and it was goalless in the other. Looking back to the previous round, and second-half goals were a real feature; Mexico won all six of their games but were 0-0 at the break in four of them. In the 5-0 win away to Guyana the deadlock was not broken until the 78th minute. Ten of Mexico's 16 games across the two rounds of CONCACAF qualification were 0-0 at half-time.

Clean sheets: Mexico kept five clean sheets in their 10 matches in the final qualifying round. Four of those matches ended 0-0. There were only 16 goals - seven for, nine against - in Mexico's matches.

In the previous round, Mexico conceded just two goals - one each to Guyana and El Salvador - and ended the six-match group stage with four consecutive clean sheets. New Zealand scored in both legs of the play-off despite being outclassed.

Win to nil: After those four straight wins to nil at the end of the third CONCACAF qualifying round, Mexico managed only one more in the following 12 matches - a 1-0 win away to Jamaica.

Cards: Mexico received just 17 cautions in their last 12 qualifying games. There were no red cards for or against them. In total, there were 39 bookings in total in those 12 matches at 3.25 per match. Eight of those bookings were picked up by New Zealand players in the two-legged play-off.

Other competitive internationals (most recent 1st): Mexico went out in the group stage of the 2013 Confederations Cup following defeats to Italy and Brazil - who they meet again here. An experimental, inexperienced Mexico squad followed that by reaching the semi-finals of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in a campaign book-ended by 2-1 defeats against Panama.

They beat Canada and Martinique to qualify from the group stage and edged out Trinidad and Tobago in the last eight before their second defeat to Panama in the semi-final. Panama lost 1-0 to hosts, USA, in the final.

v Panama (neutral) 1-2 (HT 1-1) Montes 26

v Trinidad and Tobago (neutral) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Jimenez 84

v Martinique (neutral) 3-1 (HT 2-1) Fabian 21, Montes 34, Ponce 90

v Canada (neutral) 2-0 (HT 1-0) Jimenez 42, Fabian 57p

v Panama (neutral) 1-2 (HT 1-1) Fabian 45

v Japan (neutral) 2-1 (HT 0-0) Hernandez 54, 66

v Brazil (away) 0-2 (HT 0-1)

v Italy (neutral) 1-2 (HT 1-1) Hernandez 34p

Build-up (most recent first): Mexico have played six friendlies since Herrera took the reins last summer, winning four and drawing two, so things appear to be picking up. They complete their World Cup preparations with friendlies against Bosnia and Portugal in the USA.

v Ecuador (neutral) 3-1 (HT 1-0) Montes 33, Fabian 69, Banguera OG 76

v Israel (home) 3-0 (HT 1-0) Layun 43, 62, Fabian 85

v USA (away) 2-2 (HT 0-2) Marquez 49, Pulido 67

v Nigeria (neutral) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v South Korea (neutral) 4-0 (HT 2-0) Peralta 37, Pulido 45, 86, 89

v Ivory Coast (neutral) 4-1 (HT 3-0) Boka OG 11, Peralta 28, 45, Reyna 90

Team verdict: Mexico have gone out in the last 16 at the last five World Cups. They will be looking to finally go further but look to have a tough task just to match that achievement.

A shambolic qualification campaign saw them win just two of 10 games in the decisive six-team fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying and even the emphatic dispatching of New Zealand in the subsequent play-off couldn't mask the problems in the squad.

Carlos Vela is still on self-imposed international exile and coach Herrera has shown a tendency to favour players from the domestic Liga players over the established stars plying their trade in Europe.

It's a risky strategy, but one that has helped achieve improved results in the friendlies played over the last 12 months.

Herrera favours a 5-3-2 formation that requires the wing-backs to provide plenty of assistance to the forward forays.

And that may offer a possible betting opportunity. With goals likely to be at a premium for Mexico - the most relevant formline here is surely the seven they managed in 10 games against the rest of CONCACAF's elite - it's very possible that one goal could land the honours (or a share at least) of the top Mexico goalscorer market.

That makes the 40/1 offered about marauding left-back Miguel Layan enticing indeed. He is a real threat going forward, has a fine cross and shot and netted twice in the recent friendly win over Israel.