Mexico vs. New Zealand Preview
Where: Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht – Sochi, Russia
When: Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 2:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 1
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Betting on Mexico (-1,045)
Mexico grabbed a valuable point on Sunday as they held Portugal to a 2-2 draw in their Group A opener. The defending European champions grabbed the lead twice but the Mexicans refused to budge, with Hector Moreno firing a late equalizer in injury time. El Tri will find the going much easier this coming Wednesday against a New Zealand side that’s ranked a lowly 95th in the world.
Such is the quality of the opposition that head coach Juan Carlos Osorio has decided to rotate his side for this Group A clash. Alfredo Talavera is expected to come in for Guillermo Ochoa as goalkeeper against the All Whites. Midfielders Rafa Marquez, Marco Fabian and Giovani dos Santos could be given more minutes as well in this crunch contest.
One guy who Osorio can’t afford to rest is star striker Javier Hernandez. Chicharito extended his record as Mexico’s leading goal scorer with his equalizer against Portugal in their opening 2017 Confederations Cup match in Kazan. The goal was Hernandez’s 48th for El Tri, in his 93rd senior appearance for the national team. The Bayer Leverkusen star has now scored four goals for Mexico at Confederations Cups.
Betting on New Zealand (+2,400)
New Zealand stumbled in their opening group game, losing 2-0 to Russia on Saturday. They simply had no answer for Russia’s 5-4-1 formation as the hosts time and again picked apart the All Whites’ defense. That being said, all hope of qualifying is not yet lost for New Zealand, which only trails the second-ranked teams in Group A by just one point. A victory against Mexico this coming Wednesday would go a long way in preserving their qualification hopes in this competition.
They will have their work cut out for them, however, against a Mexico side that’s unbeaten in its last four international matches. The All Whites can take comfort in the fact, however, that they nearly stunned Mexico in their recent friendly last October. New Zealand made a mockery of El Tri’s experimental 3-3-3-1 formation, losing just 2-1 in Nashville.
For the All Whites to grab a shock result later today, they will need prolific striker Chris Wood to stand tall against the Mexicans. The Leeds United star was the top scorer in England’s second-tier championship last season, and has bagged 19 goals in 48 appearances for his nation. He has been given the captain’s armband in this year’s Confederations Cup, standing in for the injured Winston Reid.
Mexico (-1,045) ease past New Zealand, 5-0.
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