Best Odds: 21/20
European champions Portugal open their debut appearance at FIFA Confederations Cup with a high-profile clash against the tournament veterans Mexico. An exciting match is expected between two great sides that are expected to lead the way in Group A.
Having broken French hearts in Paris to win the European Championship, Portugal continued is full force heading into the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. A Equipa das Quinas won five and lost only one of their qualifying matches and currently occupies the second spot in Group B, behind Switzerland. Fernando Santos’ men have no time to rest as they take part in Confederations Cup which would be a great chance for the European champions to get a feel of the Russian atmosphere and to learn what they can expect next year if they manage – and they certainly hope so – to secure their place in the final showpiece. The Portuguese have arrived to Russia determined to give their best in the competition and try to win it. Alongside Germany, Portugal have been installed as the firm favourites to win the Confederations Cup and a strong start against a respectable opponent would certainly make it easier for Santos’ side.
Ricardo Quaresma should be fit to play despite his injury worries ahead of Latvia match last week.
Portugal are expected to field their strongest possible line-up with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo leading the attack. Gelson Martins is in line for a place in the team, alongside latest Manchester City signing Bernardo Silva.
El Tri are the most experienced FIFA Confederations Cup nation, having already taken part in six tournaments, while also hosting one back in 1999. Mexico won the competition on their home soil and arrive to Russia as one of the favourites to win the title once again. Juan Carlos Osorio’s men are coming off from a busy schedule and even have another competition ahead of them in July, when they will take part in the Gold Cup. The attack-oriented Mexican side have truly been joy to watch. Mexico lost only one of their last 13 matches in all competitions and they have a responsibility to continue strong in Russia. Pitted against the likes of Confederations Cup hosts Russia, New Zealand and European champions Portugal, El Tri face a proper challenge but their strongest side is here to prove its worth and cause problems to all of those who try to stand in their way.
Juan Carlos Osorio will have his strongest squad at disposal. Javier Hernandez, Marco Fabian and Carlos Vela have all been included on the list.
Hector Herrera, Raul Jimenez, Jurgen Damm and Hirving Lozano are all expected to play an important part as well.
Key Factors to Consider
- Portugal won 8 of their last 10 matches in all competitions
- Portugal kept 8 clean sheets in their last 10 games
- Fernando Santos’ men scored 16 goals in last 5 matches
- Mexico lost only two of their last 15 competitive outings
- There have been over 2.5 goals in 3 of Mexico’s last 4 matches
Portugal and Mexico will be fighting with hosts Russia for the group’s top place and a strong start is expected from both sides at the FIFA Confederations Cup. Portugal arrived in Russia fueled with optimism following a good run of results and they will want to make most of their debut participation in the competition.
Best Odds: 21/20
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