Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez is chasing Jared Borgetti's all-time Mexico goalscoring record; Arturo Vidal was Man of the Match as Chile won the title in 2015. The presence of the Bayer 04 Leverkusen goal machine and the FC Bayern München midfield engine are set to make Saturday's clash at Levi's Stadium a particularly enticing one...
"I think he's one of the best players in the world," said Chicharito of Vidal exclusively in Lucia Villalon's blog on bundesliga.com. "It's going to be a very difficult match but also a very good match to watch - like a final."
Chicharito chasing history
The teams faced off as recently as 2 June in a warm-up match for the Copa America Centenario, with Chicharito firing El Tri to a 1-0 win. Vidal played 78 minutes of the match in San Diego, California, with Chicharito coming off the bench at almost exactly the same time. The Leverkusen striker grabbed the game-winning goal less than ten minutes later, and is now only one goal away from Borgetti's eight-year record of 46 strikes for his country.
It was honours even between the pair in the Bundesliga in 2015/16. Vidal's FC Bayern beat Leverkusen 3-0 on Matchday 3 at the Allianz Arena, and though the Chilean played for 90 minutes, the game took place two days before Hernandez signed with Die Werkself. Chicharito played the full game in the reverse fixture - a 0-0 draw at the BayArena on Matchday 20 - with a frustrated Vidal substituted off in the 58th minute.
Chilean flair, Bundesliga backbone
Vidal will be ably assisted in San Diego by Chicharito's Leverkusen teammate Charles Aranguiz at the heart of Chile's midfield, with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim forward Eduardo Vargas likely to start having scored a brace in the champions' 4-2 win over Panama last time out.
All three Bundesliga stars in Chile's team played in the 3-3 draw with Mexico in last year's competition. With Chicharito lining up against them and this time chasing history, it promises to be a thrilling encounter once again.
Mexico: Ochoa - Araujo, Marquez (c), Moreno - Reyes, Herrera, Layun, Guardado - Jimenez, Chicharito, J.M. Corona
Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio
Coach: Juan Antonio Pizzi
* Goodnight everyone!!! A rest for tomorrow before leaving everything on the field!!! Lets go Chile!!!