Mexico and Guatemala are on a Group C collision course on Sunday night.

Both Mexico and Guatemala have played one game thus far in this CONCACAF Gold Cup, but it is Mexico who sits on top of the standings. This game is extremely crucial for both teams, because the winner could take over first place.

Let's preview the game and pick a winner.

Mexico (40)

Mexico absolutely dominated Cuba in their first game, 6-0. Oribe Peralta scored a hat trick proving that this Mexican squad can still be effective without Javier Hernandez on the field. Mexico has won this event more than any other country, six times, and they had a huge home-field advantage at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.

Head coach Miguel Herrera saw his team drop dramatically in the new FIFA rankings. Mexico fell 17 spots to No. 40 in the world. That may just fuel this team to prove FIFA wrong. By scoring six goals against Cuba, Mexico has a first place lead over Trinidad and Tobago, who defeated Guatemala, 3-1.

Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela create a great offensive duo, while team captain Andrés Guardado leads the middle field. Guardado scored against Cuba as well with a nice header just before halftime. Francisco Javier Rodríguez is one of the best North American defenders, and goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa of Malaga CF will be starting net once again.

If Mexico wins this game, they will automatically clinch a spot in the knockout round.

Guatemala (105)

Guatemala suffered a 12 spot drop in the new FIFA rankings, meaning they are no longer in the top 100 in the world. Guatemala now ranks No. 105 in the world, which is one spot behind Cuba, who they will be playing on July 15.

There's no doubt about it: This is a must win game for Guatemala. They lost their Gold Cup opener to Trinidad and Tobago and are now fighting for that third spot. Team captain Carlos Ruiz scored the only goal in that 3-1 defeat. This game will take place right after the Cuba vs. Trinidad and Tobago game in the same stadium, so Guatemala will know by then the ramifications of the standings. Guatemala needs Cuba to win that game because Trinidad and Tobago has a three point advantage in the standings over them.

Ricardo Jerez will get the start in net, but defense is a big issue for Guatemala. They have to be able to win the time of possession battle. José Manuel Contreras and Carlos Figueroa will be directing the middle field for Guatemala. All eyes will be on Ruiz, as he is one of the most skilled forwards in this Gold Cup.

Schedule, Where to Watch

Mexico and Guatemala will play each other on Sunday, July 12 at 9 p.m. EDT at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game will be shown on Fox Sports 2. You can watch a live game stream here.


Guatemala needs this win far more than Mexico does but is outmatched. Mexico is better in every facet of the game, and their fans will be showing up in the thousands. Despite not having "Chicharito," Mexico's offense will score enough to win. Mexico gets the victory and advances to the playoff.

Mexico wins 3-1

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