Portugal vs Mexico Preview
Last updated: June 16, 2017 by Leon Marshal
|Kick-off:||Sunday 18th June, 16:00 (GMT)|
|Venue:||Kazan Arena, Kazan|
|Last Match||Portugal 1-0 Mexico|
It’s the best of Europe vs the best of North and Central America as Portugal take on Mexico at the Kazan stadium. Featuring the best two teams in group A – also consisting of Russia and New Zealand, who play the day before – the competitiveness of this game should set the tone for the rest of the competition to come. Given the ferocity and attacking-minded play of both sides, this game should prove to be quite the kick off to a potentially great tournament.
Mexico will have a lot to prove after drawing against the USA on Monday. Long have they had the edge during the CONCACAF cup, including the Gold cup two years ago, but the USA are proving mightily resurgent. Conversely, Portugal must have their eyes on next year’s World Cup now, knowing that their star player can’t be at god-level for that much longer.
For the big man Christiano Ronaldo, at least in his footballing life (he’s just been accused of tax evasion), anything is possible, and he leads a remarkably strong team here. The midfield, with great players such as Carvalho, Gomes and Moutinho, should easily dominate the possession play, giving the superlative forward plenty of chances to get in front of goal and cause his usual mayhem. Mexico have a noticeable weaker squad, but they know how to win this competition, having lifted the trophy in 1999 and competed more times than any other team bar Brazil. They will be relying on old favorite Chicharito to possibly poach them a cheeky goal to get in front.
The team that wins here can almost be assured of qualification to the knockout stage, especially with New Zealand somewhat of a non-starter and Russia long away from their glory days. Yet in football nothing is certain, with a draw between the two sides perhaps making things difficult for them later on and opening up the group to a whole host of tantalising possibilities.
Always humble, Christiano Ronaldo will be wearing special boots for his Confederations Cup Campaign, courtesy of Nike.
Ronaldo has recently been accused of tax evasion. The prosecutor’s office in Madrid says that he owes a grand total of 14.7m euros, something the footballer strenuously denies. It is now rumored he wants to leave Spain.
Juan Carlos Osorio, the Mexico manager, says he looks forward to the tournament. As he said at the airport: “We are very happy to be here, very excited, with the plan of ratifying the Mexican game’s very good moment. It is a great opportunity to compete against a number of the best national teams and best players.”
FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez has now filed the paperwork to switch his national team to USA, which is another blow to the Mexican squad.
|Portugal (4-4-2):||Patricio; Guerreiro, Pepe, Fonte, Soares; Gomes, Carvalho, Moutinho, Queresma; Silva, Ronaldo|
|Subs:||Beto, Neto, Semedo, Pizzi, Nani, Martins, Danilo|
|Mexico (4-2-3-1):||Ochoa; Salcedo, Araújo, Moreno, Layún; Santos, Herrera; Vela, Fabián, Santos; Chicharito|
|Subs:||Talavera, Reyes, Herrera, Peralta, Aquino, Lozano, Alanís|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Portugal are the favourites here, with bet365 giving odds of 21/20 compared to Mexico’s 13/5. Once again there are also some great deals if you factor in Ronaldo scoring as an inevitability, with the same operator giving odds of 22/1 for him to get a goal and Portugal to win 3-0. If you believe Hernandez could be the difference between the two teams, William Hill are giving him odds of 14/1 to score anytime, and odds of 60/1 for him to score the last goal in a 2-1 win. Nevertheless, despite the odds not being as favourable, we recommend some combination of Ronaldo + the win here as the much more likely bet combination.
Given both teams track record, we can imagine a high scoring game. Paddy Power are giving decent odds of 5/4 for there to be over 2.5 goals during the game. Additionally, if you believe things will really get out of hand – given both the tiredness of the players and the nature of the tournament – the same operator is giving whopping odds of 66/1 for there to be over 6.5 goals. Ultimately its a hard one to call, but its getting less and less likely Ronaldo won’t be on the scoresheet.