Mexico will look to kick-start their CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign and pull themselves out of a form slump against a team ranked 84 spots below them.
Cuba will be Mexico’s first opponent at the 2015 Gold Cup with both teams in the midst of long winless runs.
Mexico have not tasted victory in seven matches, while Cuba’s winless drought is at four games ahead of the meeting in Chicago on Thursday.
But Mexico coach Miguel Herrera should be confident of ending his team’s poor streak, as they sit 23rd in FIFA’s global rankings, while Cuba are 107th.
A win for Mexico would set them up for their other Group C fixtures against Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago.
Herrera was forced to draft in Santos Laguna striker Javier Orozco last week after Javier Hernandez broke his collarbone in Mexico’s final pre-tournament friendly against Honduras.
Orozco has missed Mexico’s past 13 games but having finished the 2014-15 Liga MX season with six goals in seven matches, the 27-year-old forward is confident of taking his chance at the Gold Cup.
“It’s a shame that Chicharito is injured because we know he is a great striker,” Orozco told his club’s website.
“He’s a leading force up front for the national team, and I hope he recovers soon. Now I have an opportunity and I am going to try to take full advantage of it.
“We have been working hard here in pre-season, two or three times a day. I can go about it in the best way [at the Gold Cup].”
While Mexico are the most successful team in Gold Cup history with six titles, Cuba have never progressed further than the quarter-finals.
Raul Gonzalez’s men have not won since they defeated Dominican Republic 3-0 in a friendly in March, while they only reached the last-eight two years ago on goals scored as one of the leading two third-placed teams.
Cuba lost to Costa Rica and the USA before crushing Belize 4-0 to advance at the expense of Martinique, although the Cubans’ prize was a 6-1 thumping at the hands of eventual finalists Panama.
Mexico have won their past four meetings against Cuba by an aggregate score of 15-1.
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