Pre-game: France vs. Mexico

A victory for either France or Mexico Thursday afternoon (CBC,, 2 p.m. ET) would go a long way in securing a berth in the second round of the World Cup.

Day 7, Match 3

France vs. Mexico, Group A

Date and Location

June 17, Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane

Broadcast details

Live on CBC and (2 p.m. ET). Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule.

What's at stake

Uruguay leads Group A with four points, while the other three teams — France, Mexico and South Africa — are tied for second with one point apiece.

But France and Mexico can take a big step towards locking down a second-round berth by winning this match, as it would give them four points with one match left.

The French will be under a bit more pressure as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Uruguay in their opener (Mexico and South Africa battled to a 1-1 tie) — if goal difference comes in to play as the tiebreaker, France will be in big trouble, unless they find a way to score and soon.

Suspension watch

Influential winger Franck Ribery, key defender Patrice Evra and midfielder Jeremy Toulalan all earned yellow cards in France's previous match. If he any one of them receives another against Mexico, they will be suspended for Les Bleus final game of the group stage.

Midfielder Gerardo Torrado and defender Efrain Juarez are in similar predicament for Mexico.

Rogers Pre-game Show

Watch the Rogers Pre-game show 30 minutes before kick-off as our panel of soccer experts provide up-to-the-minute news from South Africa on this match.

Player to watch for France

Franck Ribery — France's winged wonder was far from his best in the game against Uruguay, but there's no denying he has the ability to influence the game with an instant piece of magic. Look for him to make more of a statement against Mexico.

Player to watch for Mexico

Giovani dos Santos — The young Mexican playmaker showed flashes of brilliance against South Africa, but he has to find a way to be more consistent and exert his influence over the course of a full 90-minute match.

Key match-up

William Gallas vs. Carlos Vela — Gallas is the anchor of France's defence, holding things together from his spot in the middle of the back line. But the veteran has looked far from his best in recent months, so he'll have to find a way to rediscover this best form and stop Vela, one of Mexico's most dangerous attacking players.

The French perspective

"Against Mexico we have to play for a win and nothing less."  — defender Eric Abidal

The Mexican perspective

"I really want to stress that we are the 'golden generation' of Mexican football. Having seen the France versus Uruguay match I believe Mexico has a great chance of advancing." — forward Carlos Vela

World Cup head-to-head

  • Games played:3
  • France: 2 wins, 0 losses, 0 draws
  • Mexico: 0 wins, 2 losses, 0 draws
  • Goals: France 8, Mexico 4
  • Matches: Mexico and France have met three times in the World Cup, and the Europeans have yet to lose to El Tri. France beat Mexico 4-1 in 1930, Les Bleus won again 3-2 in 1954 and the teams drew 1-1 in 1966.

All time head-to-head

  • Games played:6
  • France: 5 wins, 0 losses, 1 draw
  • Mexico: 0 wins, 5 losses, 1 draw
  • Goals: France 15, Mexico 4
  • Last match: France beat Mexico 1-0 in an international friendly in May 2006.