Mexico vs New Zealand preview

June 20, 2017
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Mexico did well to twice come from behind and secure a 2-2 draw with Portugal in their opening fixture and they will fancy their chances of defeating minnows New Zealand in Sochi.

The All Whites were pretty disappointing in the 2-0 defeat to Russia, and they will obviously be looking to show an improvement in their second match.

Mexico arrived at the tournament finals in good shape, having contested two 2018 World Cup qualifiers in June, defeating Honduras 3-0 before sharing spoils with USMNT.

Head coach Juan Carlos Osorio had some problems ahead of the opening match against Portugal as Jesus Corona was forced to withdraw due to injury, but his side managed to produce a good performance in their opening fixture.

The boss surprised his Portugal counterpart with an attack-minded formation that saw Carlos Vela, Raul Jimenez and Javier Hernandez start up front, and they eventually secured one point thanks to a late goal from Hector Moreno.

Mexico now need to defeat New Zealand in order to stay in contention for a place in the semis and they can be backed at 2/15 to succeed in their quest.

Pacey winger Hirving Lozano should be in contention after he was given a leave to sign a contract with PSV Eindhoven, while there should be no major changes to the side that faced Portugal.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Ochoa – Salcedo, D. Reyes, Moreno, Layun – dos Santos, Herrera, Guardado – Vela, Jimenez, Hernandez.

New Zealand arrived in Russia hoping to finally record a first win at the Confederations Cup finals, but it is now clear that was a tall order.

The problem is All Whites had struggled even before the competition kicked off, especially facing problems up front, with 1-0 friendly defeats to Northern Ireland and Belarus a sign of things to come.

Therefore, nobody was surprised to see New Zealand suffer a 2-0 defeat to hosts Russia in their opening fixture, but the team were even more disappointing than we expected.

Namely, their opponents should have won the game by a landslide having created a host of clear-cut opportunities, and we don’t see how they are going to fare any better against Mexico.

It is also important to note that New Zealand lost all five matches against El Tri since 2010, suffering a 9-3 aggregate defeat in the 2014 World Cup play-offs.

Captain Winston Reid was ruled out of the tournament through injury, but youngster Ryan Thomas should keep his place after performing admirably against Russia.

Probable starting line-up (5-3-2): Marinovic – Colvey, Boxall, Durante, Smith, Wynne – McGlinchey, Rojas, Thomas – Barbarouses, Wood.

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