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Match Preview: Mexico vs Finland Friendly, October 30, 2013

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Mexico's El Tri faces a Finland side as a tune-up for the World Cup playoff against New Zealand.

Julian Finney

Mexico continues to prepare for November's two-legged playoff against New Zealand dispatching second-division Altamira 4-0. Tonight Mexico plays an 8pm friendly against Finland in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium (TV: Unimas*). Miguel Herrera expects an aerial attacking from the All-Whites and feels the Finns will provide a test of the El Tri's air play.

Herrera's plan is to run a 5-3-2 and for all intents and purposes it sounds like the team that takes the field will likely be the lineup that faces the All-Whites. In creating a roster, Herrera mined his own team, selecting ten Club America players. That's not much of a surprise given the short turnaround time for the "on loan" coach. Selections such as El Chelis' former pupil Rodrigo Salinas and former New York Red Bulls DP Rafa Marquez did a few eyebrows, though.

Other personnel news is Lucus Lobos will be unavailable for family reasons. In his place Herrera has recalled 37-year-old midfielder Zinha. Herrera also wanted Argentine midfielder Rubens Sambueza once he obtains his Mexican citizenship, but it appears FIFA will reject his application to switch to Mexican eligibility.

Finland manager Mixu Paatelainen has compiled a 13-6-10 record. In World Cup qualifying the Finns went 2-3-3 in their group which was good enough for third, but not good enough for the team to earn their first trip to the World Cup. The team that will take the field tonight is entirely made up of players from the Finnish domestic league (Finnish, thank you Google Translate!!).

Paatelainen has shown a penchant to alter the team's formation between matches. Against France, including the team's most recent outing, a 3-0 loss to Les Bleus, Finland ran a 4-5-1. But they've also used a 4-4-2, a 4-2-3-1, and even the 4-3-2-1 aka Christmas Tree formation.

**for whatever reason my tv provider says the game is on at 10pm

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