Confederations Cup Preview: Mexico - Italy
Cesare Prandelli's team is unbeaten in its last six internationals and will look to get its Confederations Cup campaign off to a winning start against the 1999 winner.
By Max Bentley
Flores, Rodriguez, Moreno, Salcido
Aquino, Dos Santos, Guardado
Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Sciglio
De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio
Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre could be tempted to make several changes to the side which played out a lacklustre 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in its World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.
Mallorca attacker Giovani dos Santos started that match on the bench and the 24-year-old is expected to replace Guadalajara striker Aldo de Negris in a tactical change which would see El Tri change to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Elsewhere Gerardo Torrado is looking to make his 142nd international cap in the heart of midfield whilst Javier Aquino could replace Pablo Barrera.
Mario Balotelli is eligible for Italy despite picking up a red card in the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic last Friday although AC Milan teammate Stephan El Shaarawy is still nursing a minor ankle injury.
Cesare Prandelli has opted for a 4-3-2-1 formation in his training sessions this week with Juventus duo Emanuele Giaccherini and Claudio Marchisio supporting Balotelli.
Mattia De Sciglio could be given the nod to start at left back as Prandelli looks to give some of his younger players international experience, although Giorgio Chiellini could be shifted out wide with Leonardo Bonucci in the center.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Italy made its FIFA Confederations Cup debut in 2009 but defeats to Brazil and Egypt ensured that Marcello Lippi's side was knocked out in the group stage.
- Cuauhtemoc Blanco scored a joint-tournament record six goals en route to Mexico's 1999 Confederations Cup triumph, when the host defeated Brazil 4-3 in the final.
- The Azzurri eliminated Mexico from the 1970 World Cup but have failed to beat El Tri in their following four encounters, losing two and drawing two.
- Cesare Prandelli's side has lost only one of its last 11 internationals - a 2-1 friendly defeat to France back in November.
- Jose Manuel de la Torre's outfit is unbeaten since a 1-0 friendly defeat to USA last August - a run stretching back 13 games.
- Andrea Pirlo is set to make his 100th international appearance.
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Top 3 Predictions
Mexico 1-2 Italy
- 18.75 %
Mexico 0-2 Italy
- 14.84 %
Mexico 1-3 Italy
- 11.26 %
|World - FIFA Confederations Cup (FCC)||2013-06-16||Mexico 1 - Italy 2|
|International Friendlies (FR)||2010-06-03||Italy 1 - Mexico 2|
|2014-03-05||Mexico 0 - Nigeria 0||FR|
|2014-01-29||Mexico 4 - Republic of Korea 0||FR|
|2013-11-20||New Zealand 2 - Mexico 4||WCQ|
|2013-11-13||Mexico 5 - New Zealand 1||WCQ|
|2013-10-30||Mexico 4 - Finland 2||FR|
|18||Jose Andrés Guardado||Midfielder|
|10||Giovani dos Santos||Striker|
|1||Francisco Guillermo Ochoa||Goalkeeper|
|-||Jorge Emmanuel Torres|
|-||Pablo Edson Barrera|
|-||A. De Nigris|
|5||Mattia De Sciglio||Defender|
|16||Daniele De Rossi||Midfielder|
|-||Stephan El Shaarawy|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed