There's been a lot to unpack and digest so far in the Mexico, they come into the night buoyed by knowing they already have two wins in this tournament and eliminated pre-tournament favorites Uruguay before that giant of international soccer could even get out of the group stage.Centenario, but one of the biggest early stories of the tournament has been Venezuela. As they prepare for their group stage-ending match against
It's been a truly impressive run for Venezuela so far in the Copa, and they come into this match with absolutely nothing to lose because of it. They and Mexico are already through to the quarterfinal, and as the team sitting in second place thanks to goal differential, there's no risk for them in this game against Mexico. Venezuela will have all the freedom to go all-out in attack if they want, playing with the freedom of knowing that even if they lose, it won't change their situation at all.
Sure, Venezuela would love a third win in the group stage, but they don't need it. However, Mexico do have something to lose as they try to avoid Argentina in the quarterfinal. That kind of environment breeds excitement and always has the potential to see something wild happen, so this will be a must-watch game.
Key player -- Andres Guardado (Mexico)
One of the keys to Mexico avoiding the upset will be the return of their captain, who missed their win over Jamaica after getting sent off against Uruguay. El Tri missed Guardado quite a lot during that game despite the win -- he brings a balancing element to their midfield and the side as a whole that is notably absent when he's not around. They desperately need him back and playing well, and this game will be a good chance for him to find his form again after some shaky recent appearances.
Key matchup -- Hector Herrera (Mexico) vs. Tomas Rincon (Venezuela)
Venezuela's captain and a deeply underappreciated player, Rincon's presence in his side's midfield brings the reliability that they often need. He'll be hard pressed in this match, facing off against a player in Herrera who has been one of the best early on in this tournament. If Venezuela are going to get the result they want, Rincon has to keep Herrera in check -- but that's going to be a massively difficult task.
Match Date/Time: Monday, 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. local
Venue: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV: Fox Sports 1 (U.S. - English), Univision, Univision Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), Canal 5, Azteca 7, TDN, UnivisionTDN (Mexico), Meridiano Television, DIRECTV Sports (Venezeula)
Online: Fox Soccer 2 Go, Fox Sports Go, fuboTV (U.S.), DIRECTV Play Deportes (Venezuela)