One of the strongest and yet to see defeat squads in the Confederations Cup, Mexico, will face their next match against Russia on Saturday 24th against Russia, the locals.
It will be one of the most entertaining games of the day, with a powerful and motivated Mexican squad that just came from a tight win against New Zealand and an almost win against Portugal that ended in a draw thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo in the very last minutes.
There is a strong pressure on Mexico to advance to the very last stages of the tournament as they are 1 of the top 4 favorites amongst Germany, Chile and Portugal. The rest should be easy to handle.
Are Chile and Germany Top Favorites?
Germany isn´t taking the event seriously with an experimental squad, is just games to test their new promises just 1 year before the World Cup. If their main squad were in the event, they would be by far the top favorites.
Chile on the other hand has come down from their best performing seasons after winning two Copa Americas in a row and taking a 4th place in the last World Cup in Brazil. The Chilean squad is very powerful, but it is getting a bit warned out. Still, they managed a first victory against Cameroon and a draw against Germany.
Portugal looks the weakest amongst the favorites. Too much faith is placed on Cristiano Ronaldo as he scores all the goals, but the other players are not even close to his level. If any team manages to correctly block Ronaldo from the ball Portugal is done. So far they have defeated the hosts Russia in the opening game by the minimum difference and scored a draw against Mexico with a last minute goal. Doesn´t look that strong for the finals though.
Mexico vs Russia, a Decisive Match
This is a decisive game for Mexico, they have to win and by more than 1 goal to prove themselves as worthy of winning the championship.
Russia comes with hopes of advancing to the next stage after winning by two goals against New Zealand in the opening game. The took a loss against Portugal so they need to fight with all they have for the honor, this will not be an easy match for Mexico and a match were all their key players need to be in great shape.
And it seems Mexico’s manager was thinking just that by keeping his best strikers on the bench, Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela. Hector Herrera, the one who scored the decisive goal against New Zealand, was also a substitute for most of the match. So do not judge Mexico’s game for their performance against New Zealand, they were playing at about 70% of their true capacity. It will be very different against Russia.
Russia needs to come out and win the match, which will leave spaces and wholes to be taken advantage of. They have their guns but it’s mostly pure attack, little defense. They rely on Fedor to score most of the goals with Denis Glushakov on the aid and Aleksandr Golovin as the quality game builder. Intervene with their communication structure and they are neutralized.
So Who Will Win the Confederations Cup?
Mexico looks like a strong candidate to be a finalist. Betting on that would not be a bad idea, can they win? That’s a more elusive question. They have what it takes, except the experience it takes to win a championship against squads used to do so like Chile and Germany.
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Germany or Chile will be the rivals on the final. And the balance leans more onto the Chilean side. Germany is full of holes as anyone can see from the amount of goals they have taken so far, 2 from Australia and 1 from Chile.
In truth, this looks more like a championship for Mexico or Chile to take home. Both squads came fully armed just as it were the World Cup. For some nations this might actually be the only great title they might consider winning, so they will fight it with all they have compared to the Europeans.