Portugal vs Mexico: European champions aim to win Confederations Cup at the first attempt

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The 10th edition of the Confederations Cup got underway yesterday when hosts Russia dispatched an ordinary New Zealand side by 2 goals to nil

Onto today’s action, European champions Portugal have won 7 matches out of 9 since defeating France in the Euro 2016 final, and they are looking good to go far boasting a squad containing a healthy blend of youthful talent and steely experience. They face a talented Mexico team today in a fixture that looks tasty on paper and promises goals. Ominously, though, no side has ever won the tournament and then gone on to win the World Cup the following year. Talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and João Moutinho are the cooler heads while the squad brims with young talent spearheaded by new Manchester City man Bernardo Silva.

Mexico possess a goal threat in the shape of Carlos Vela and Chicharito and are likely to get out of an average looking group, but Portugal should have just a little too much for them especially in cold conditions that won’t favour the Mexican side.

Team News

Portugal

Likely starting XI (4-4-2): Patrício; Soares, Fonte, Pepe, Guerreiro; Quaresma, Gomes, Carvalho, Bernardo Silva; André Silva, Ronaldo

Mexico

Likely starting XI (4-2-3-1): Ochoa; Salcedo, Araújo, Moreno, Layún; Santos, Herrera; Vela, Fabián, Santos; Chicharito

Key Men

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo is fresh off another Champions League success with Real Madrid and the attacker is looking dangerous as ever. The talismanic figure will look to dovetail with talented Manchester City recruit Bernardo Silva; the elegant left footer is the creative hub of  Fernando Santos’ European champions.

Experienced centre back Héctor Moreno has just signed for AS Roma in Italy and the ex PSV man is a key figure in the heart of Mexico’s defence. The 29-year-old will line up alongside Néstor Araujo who is no stranger to the big stage - he’s won gold at the Olympics. The central pairing might have quite a busy afternoon containing the multiple attacking threats posed by Portugal.

Key Match Stats

  • Portugal have only failed to win 2 of their last 13 matches, keeping 9 clean sheets in that sequence.
  • Mexico have only lost 2 of their last 36 matches.
  • Portugal won Euro 2016 and are well set to have a good run at the Confederations Cup this year in Russia.

Key Picks

Back Portugal to edge a talented but unpredictable Mexico side by a goal on betway.

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