Portugal vs Mexico
Date: Sunday, 18th June 2017
Kick-off at 16:00 UK/ 17:00 CET
Venue: Kazan Arena (Kazan).
The reigning European champions kick-start their Confederations Cup campaign against the 2015 CONCACAF Cup winner Mexico at the Kazan Arena on Sunday, 18th June 2017.
Portugal has won 7 out of their 9 games in all competitions since their Euro 2016 in France. The numbers do not tell the whole story as majority of those wins came against less than ordinary sides. The likes of Andorra, Cyprus, Faroe Islands and Gibraltar are their victims. But they did struggle in the duels against strong sides.
Switzerland defeated the Selecao on matchday 1 of the World Cup campaign. And at the start of March, they lost to Sweden in a friendly. The tournament opener against Mexico will be a real test for Fernando Santos and his men.
Mexico made steady progress since the humiliating defeat against Chile in the Confederations Cup Centenario edition. They have a record of 9 wins and 3 draws from 13 matches. While the lone defeat came against a second string Croatia in an unofficial friendly at the end of May this year.
The El Tri are one of the busiest national sides in this summer. They will take part in the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament starting in July. However, Juan Carlos Osorio is taking Confederations Cup serious and brought the strongest possible squad to Russia. They have a good record in FIFA tournaments as they often managed to get through the group stages under difficult circumstances.
Portugal vs Mexico: Team News
Both teams are blessed with a fully fit squad for the tournament opener. Therefore, no surprises are expected from both coaches and we could expect them to go with the strongest possible starting eleven.
Portugal: Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Rui Patricio – Guerreiro, Pepe, Fonte, Soares – Gomes, Carvalho, Moutinho – Quaresma, Silva, Ronaldo.
Mexico: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Ochoa – Reyes, Moreno, Reyes, Layun – dos Santos, Herrera – Vela, Fabian, Lozano – Hernandez.
Portugal vs Mexico: Head-to-head
This will the third meeting between these two sides and Portugal had won the previous two duels.
Their most recent duel was in a friendly in 2014. The veteran defender Bruno Alves scored the lone goal with second left for the final whistle.
The teams were grouped together for the 2006 World Cup edition. That was a 2-1 victory for the Selecao aided by goals from Maniche and Simao.
Cristiano Ronaldo was not part of the Portugal squad in the friendly against Mexico. While he was a bench warmer when the teams met in the World Cup.
Portugal vs Mexico: Prediction
To be honest, this is a tough one to call. Portugal are known for making sloppy starts in tournaments, while Mexico are a team capable of making life hard for strong teams in the group stages. This is why the team from Central America have a better record in tournaments as opposed to their European opposition.
But, we will be able to see an entertaining football match as there is little pressure on both sides due to the status of the tournament. Expect both teams to go for the win and we are likely to see goals on both ends of the ground.
Portugal vs Mexico: Bet Tips
Both teams to score is our primary tip, backed by the attacking talent in both teams. Odds are at 2.00 with Betfair.
Meanwhile, we are expected to see an early goal in the match. So, punters can back Over 0.5 goals in the first half for 1.50 odds at Bet365.