Rafael Marquez is set to return for Mexico when they meet Ireland for a friendly at Metlife Stadium.
Marquez has been recovering from a back injury sustained in March, but will be active for El Tri in an important test match. After Thursday’s action, manager Juan Carlos Osorio will have to cut nine players from his 32-man roster in preparation for World Cup qualifiers this month. June is busy for Mexico, who will play two CONCACAF qualifiers (including one against USA) before heading to Russia for the Confederations Cup.
Considered a key event in preparations for the 2018 World Cup, Mexico qualified for the Confederations Cup by winning the CONCACAF Cup in 2015. They’ll be one of the outside favorites in the eight-team tournament, and will have to deal with the likes of Portugal, Chile, and Germany.
Ireland are also preparing for World Cup qualifiers, but will likely rest some of their bigger names. Ireland have one more friendly against Uruguay on Sunday before a qualifier against Austria the following weekend. Ireland are unbeaten through five qualifiers, but trail Serbia atop the group via goal differential.
With one defender returning to the field for Mexico, another is heading to the sidelines. Nestor Araujo broke his hand in last week’s loss to Croatia, and the 25-year old will likely miss the entire summer. It’s a tough blow for Mexico, as Araujo has become an important anchor in Osorio’s defense. Giovani Dos Santos is also out for tonight, but the LA Galaxy star will rejoin the team for next week’s qualifier against Honduras.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. Eastern, and lineups will be posted one hour before kickoff.
Here are the basics:
DATE: Thursday, June 1, 2017
CHANNEL: Fox Sports 1
KICKOFF TIME: 8:00 p.m. Eastern
LOCATION: Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford NJ
LIVE STREAM: Click here for all live streaming information