If Honduras beats Mexico, or even ties, Canada is off the road to Russia, regardless of what the Canadians do against El Salvador. And El Tri has already wrapped up qualification for the next round of qualifying - the CONCACAF Hexagonal - so maybe Los Catrachos want a result a little more and catch the Mexican national team in a moment of complacency.
Maybe. Honduras is playing El Tri in Mexico, in Estadio Azteca - and Mexico's fans tend not to sit idly by and watch their team lose. There should ample encouragement for the Mexican players from the stands. Also, fans and players alike will remember that it was exactly three years ago - September 6, 2013 - that Honduras came to Azteca and put Mexico's 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign into crisis by winning 2-1. No one likes to be embarrassed at home twice.
So there is an expectation that Mexico will beat Honduras. Because revenge. And because Mexico has looked too good for its group-mates in this round of qualifying, while Honduras has not. After three games in this qualifying round, Los Catrachos had one point in the group; they are back in contention for a spot in the Hex because they won their last two matches at home. But neither was a big win (2-0 over El Salvador and 2-1 against Canada). Hence, Mexico is favorite to win this one.
Yes, El Tri is not so far removed from the humiliation of losing 7-0 to Chile in Copa America Centenario. But Honduras is not Chile, and that game was not played at Azteca. Yes, the squad's most experienced forward, Raul Jimenez, is injured, further exposing the relatively inexperienced (at international level) crop of front-men selected by Juan Carlos Osorio for Mexico's September matches.
But the expectation is the second qualifying spot for the Hex from this group will come down to goal difference, with Honduras fans eyeing the scoreline of Canada vs El Salvador every bit as nervously as Canadians fans keep tabs on what is happening in Azteca.
If Honduras loses, as expected, it can still progress to the Hex as long as it retains its goal difference and goals scored advantage over Canada. (Or with a Canada loss or tie in its match against El Salvador.)
A thrashing by Mexico would be bad news for Honduran hopes, as would Canada trouncing El Salvador. There are five goals separating Honduras and Canada's goal difference in the group, and that can be turned around pretty quickly if both matches go the Canadians way.