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Meet the Chicharito alternative with whom Mexico’s hopes rest

| 13.06.2014

It seems Mexico coach Miguel Herrera does indeed possess the courage of his convictions after the 46-year-old continued the competitive international exile of Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez in favour of Club America hotshot Oribe Peralta.

Peralta is a 15/8 shot to get on the scoresheet in El Tri’s Group A opener against Cameroon, which rates a decent bet considering the 30-year-old struck eight times in his last six World Cup-qualifying outings, including a hat-trick against New Zealand in the inter-confederation play-off.

After Mexico limped into the clash with the All-Whites following a terrible CONCACAF qualifying campaign – they lost more managers than gained wins during the ‘Hexagonal’ section – fourth-coach-in-a-month Herrera took the bold decision to ditch all of his European-based players.

Peralta took full advantage by striking five times over the 9-3 aggregate win, including the opener in the second leg in Wellington, and although he has been rejoined in the 23-man squad by nine overseas stars, ‘Chicharito’ is among four of that number benched for the Cameroon clash.

Former Spurs disappointment Giovani dos Santos’ far from world-beating tally of 11 La Liga goals in 31 appearances for Villarreal sees him sneak in up front alongside Peralta and ahead of Hernandez, who could leave Old Trafford this summer after a poor fourth term in the north west.

Having struck 33 Premier League goals in 77 appearances for the Red Devils during his first three seasons at the club, Hernandez managed just four top-flight strikes in his 24 games for United in 2013/14.

New coach Louis van Gaal is expected to mercilessly cull the deposed champions’ squad after the World Cup, and the 26-year-old looks set to become one of the casualties, with the likes of Valencia and Aston Villa thought to be in for the third generation El Tri international.

He’ll need to barge past either Peralta or Dos Santos to get into the shop window, and can be backed at 11/2 to come off the bench and bag the last goal against Samuel Eto’o and co.

Mexico are 13/10 favourites to beat the Indomitable Lions, with Cameroon available at 13/5 and the draw 2/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune