Portugal vs. Mexico
Date and Time: Sunday, July 2, 8 a.m. ET
Location: Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow, Russia
Soccer Odds: Portugal +125, O/U 3
Portugal vs. Mexico TV Coverage: FOX Sports 1
Both Portugal and Mexico crashed out of the Confederations Cup in the semifinal stage. The argument could be made that A Seleccao had the better team against Chile every step of the way, but Mexico was left with no excuses after a 4-1 loss to a very young German team.
Both teams will now play for the consolation prize in the Confederations Cup, a third place finish and some respectable bragging rights against one of the other middling teams in the world.
For Portugal, this match has far less consequence. Winning Euro 2016 has given manager Fernando Santos a bunch of leeway. He'll have at least until the World Cup next year to prove himself as an adequate manager for his nation. Portugal also wasn't thoroughly embarrassed by Chile in a fixture that was lost in penalties and easily could have gone the other way.
For Mexico, there could be far deeper ranging consequences for a second consecutive loss. The Mexicans, of course, were beaten by Chile 7-0 in the Copa America quarterfinals last year. The fact that they were thrashed 4-1 by Germany in the semifinals of this event only parlays the problem for Juan Carlos Osorio. It's entirely conceivable that a second straight bad result leaving Russia against Portugal could see him sacked by the time he gets back home.
Matchup To Watch
Mexico has a big problem at the back right now. There are times when the back four for Osorio looks quite strong and daunting, but there are far too many "uh-oh" moments. We saw that with Michael Bradley at Azteca in World Cup qualifying a couple weeks ago when Bradley scored a long goal with Guillermo Ochoa off of his line, and we saw it time and time again with what looked like jailbreaks against Germany.
The Mexicans haven't had a problem getting possession of the ball; even against Germany, they had 61 percent of the possession and a whopping 26 shots, eight of which hit the target. The issues have been making that possession meaningful and ultimately stopping counterattacks. These are the same issues that Osorio has encountered time and time again versus top flight team.
Though Mexico did keep Cristiano Ronaldo off of the stat sheet in the first meeting of these two teams in Russia, it's going to be really hard to do so in a second straight match. Even when El Tri did a reasonable job against CR7, the rest of the team felt like it was all over the pitch and had chance after chance to score.
Portugal vs. Mexico Free Picks
Portugal feels like it has the greater motivation in this match. All too often, when things go wrong for this Mexican team, they really just give up on themselves. Though it's probably going to be a little trite to back this Portuguese side, but the price is flat out going to be too good to pass on.
For our money, A Seleccao have been the better team on the pitch in all of their matches thus far in Russia, including the fixture against Mexico to kick off this tournament. Mexico? We can't necessarily say the same thing. El Tri have trailed in all of their fixtures in this tournament, and we're fairly sure that will be the case again. When it rains, it pours for Mexico, and there will be more rain in the forecast for it in Moscow.
Portugal vs. Mexico Soccer Pick: Portugal +125 at BookMaker.eu
Portugal vs. Mexico Score Prediction: Portugal 3, Mexico 1