Vela returns for Mexico

27 June 2010 07:10

Mexico will be boosted by the return to fitness of Arsenal forward Carlos Vela for their last-16 clash with Argentina after a hamstring injury kept him out of their final World Cup Group A match against Uruguay.

Gonzalo Higuain and Javier Mascherano are among the players expected to return to the Argentina team after being rested for the 2-0 win over Greece. Defender Walter Samuel will be missing through injury for a game where Argentina boss Diego Maradona believes it is vital his side do not underestimate their opponents.

"Mexico are a team who you need to respect, and we are going to do that. But they should also respect us and our history," he said.

"Mexico have a number of players who concern us. But we have our match to play, we have our players to field.

"We know the match is going to be tough but with the team we have and the players we have we can move forward.

"The present situation is great because we've fulfilled our duty to win the first matches and from here on we start building physically and mentally for the next step."

Mexico coach Javier Aguirre is determined to prove wrong those who predict his side are "dead and gone" even before kick-off.

El Tricolor are outsiders to progress to the quarter-finals against Maradona's star-studded line-up, but Aguirre hopes he can spring a surprise to upset the odds at Soccer City.

"Nobody is betting a bottom dollar on us, the analysts are saying we're dead and gone. We will see,'' said a defiant Aguirre.

"I think Mexico are nobody's favourites, they don't believe we have a possibility (to win) but we will see after the 90 minutes whether we can change history."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 16:17