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Mexico's Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, Raul Jimenez unlikely to play together - Martino

SAN DIEGO -- Mexico head coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino is aware that he faces a dilemma over whether Raul Jimenez or Javier Hernandez should lead El Tri's forward line and admits they are unlikely to play together.

West Ham United's "Chicharito" Hernandez is Mexico's all-time top scorer and is returning to the national team for the first time since last year's World Cup, but since then, Wolves' Jimenez has enjoyed an impressive debut season in English football with 15 goals in 35 games so far.

"I don't like to say what I'm going to do," Martino told a news conference ahead of Friday's friendly against Chile. "Maybe in the Gold Cup [in the summer] you'll discover if one or the other plays.

"I've explained that it is very difficult [for both to play together], unless the opponent's style dictates it, or we play a [defensive] line of five. But, the most likely [outcome] is that one or the other plays."

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- Marshall: Off-field issues surround squad

Martino made clear his respect for 30-year-old Hernandez, although the Argentine again expressed his unhappiness at Jesus "Tecatito" Corona staying behind at Porto due to an ankle injury, which he had been taking injections to play through.

Martino implied he found it strange that Corona was unable to meet up with El Tri, given he had been playing regularly at Porto and hadn't been rested even against weaker opposition, with the Portuguese club only sending a medical report on Wednesday, according to the Mexico coach.

"My obligation as head coach of Mexico is to make the national team respected," Martino said. "If there are clubs that work informally, that's their issue."

LAFC's Carlos Vela was left off the Mexico squad, with Martino stating it was his decision, although a return for this summer's Gold Cup isn't out of the question for the 30-year-old.

"It's not an answer I can give you now," Martino said. "We will have to see what happens and probably go back and talk to the footballers."

Martino gave a strong hint he'll play a 4-3-3 formation against Chile and use it as the base moving forward with the Mexican national team.

Mexico travels to San Jose on Sunday to prepare for Tuesday's friendly against Paraguay in Levi's Stadium.


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