Mexico vs Russia
Competition: Confederations Cup
Date: 24 June 2017
Kick-off: 17:00 CET
Mexico’s coach Juan Carlos Osorio took a huge (as it turned out) gamble opting for a super alternative lineup in the game against New Zealand, and he should feel relieved to have gotten away with it the way he did. Mexico were 1-0 down at halftime, kind of lucky to go to the dressing room with a result not worse than that. In the second half it was mostly the… ‘heavy’ jersey (and of course the talent of certain players) who earned them all three points, anything but easily though, since New Zealand had fewer, but still more chances to score a second goal, even a powerful shot that struck the horizontal post. There is little doubt in this game Osorio will switch back to his best possible eleven, most probably paying more attention to his defense, since a simple draw is enough for Mexico to qualify for the semifinals. Center-back Carlos Salcedo is out, not just from this game, but from the rest of the competition as well, after injuring his shoulder in the game versus New Zealand. The irony of the thing is that his replacement, Hector Moreno, had to be substituted himself as well in the second half, facing a muscular problem.
If I were a member of this Russia side, after the 1-0 defeat to Portugal, I would be thinking, “what if we had believed in it from the start of the game…” They must be the first to know that… talent-wise, quality-wise, they are not even close to Portugal. When that’s the case, when you lack your opponent’s talent and quality, what can save you is… guts, go in, and show from the first minute of the match that you really-really want to win it. Russia didn’t do that. They looked… hesitant, unsure of themselves, and only started going forward in a really threatening way after halftime, when they realized that… at that point, they simply had nothing to lose, with Portugal 1-0 up. Bottom line, the Russians showed they can ‘trouble’ even… the European champions, but even when they started creating chances, they looked incredibly wasteful, which they did against New Zealand as well, scoring twice, but wasting chances that were… hard to miss, really.
Mexico vs Russia: Head-to-head Stats
Mexico and Russia played two friendlies in 1992 and 1994, both times the Russians won, 2-0 (on home soil) and 4-1 (in Mexico) respectively.
Mexico vs Russia: Prediction
Betting companies consider Mexico favorites to win the game, and definitely to qualify for the semifinals. A draw is enough for them. Personally, I’m backing Russia first of all not to lose, and deep down, to win, mostly because they have a much bigger motive to succeed in this Confederations Cup, playing at home, in front of their fans, with the whole country watching. Plus, against Portugal, they showed that they can put in a decent performance even against non other but the European champions.
Mexico vs Russia: Tips
‘Draw or Russia’ is at 1.60. ‘Over 2.5 goals’ pays 2.00, you double your money. As previously mentioned, personally I’m taking a gamble with Russia, backing them to win (and, obviously, qualify for the semis). Their win pays 2.90, ‘Russia and over 2.5 goals’ is at 5.00, and if that’s not risky enough for you, 1-2 as final score pays 11.00.