As if a game between the United States and Mexico wasn't already intense enough, both teams will enter Tuesday's contest off tough losses and fighting for their World Cup lives.
In second place, the Americans will simply be looking to wrap up an automatic bid, while Mexico is currently fourth on the table and now in scramble mode to reach Brazil next summer at all.
On paper, these are the two most talented teams in CONCACAF. On Tuesday night, they'll each be desperate for points, for very different reasons.
When: Tuesday, September 10 at 8 p.m. ET (1 a.m. BST)
Where: Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Watch: ESPN; WatchESPN
Mexico's World Cup hopes could be on the line in this game. After being defeated by Honduras at Estadio Azteca on Friday night, Mexico fell to fourth in the standings with eight points, just one point ahead of fifth-placed Panama.
If the current standings hold, Mexico would have to play New Zealand in a playoff to reach the World Cup. While it seems unlikely that El Tri would miss next summer's tournament in Brazil, they find themselves in dire straights, needing to at least take a point in this match.
They will be hoping interim manager Luis Fernando Tena can provide a spark after Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre was fired after the loss to Honduras.
For the Americans, a win coupled with a Panama loss or draw would clinch their spot in the World Cup, while a draw would put them in solid position with two qualifying games remaining.
The United States will have to do it without Michael Bradley (who is out with an ankle injury), Jozy Altidore, Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler (all suspended), however. The United States is tough to beat in Columbus, but this will be a huge test.
Mexico is desperate, while it is hard to envision a scenario in which the United States won't qualify for the World Cup. From that vantage point, it's not hard to envision El Tri coming into the States and stealing three points.
On the other hand, the United States was stomped by Costa Rica and will want to take out that loss on Mexico. In Columbus, the Americans will be tough to beat.
Look for this one to end in a draw, 1-1.
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