Mexico to end Russia's campaign
Mexico to end Russia's campaign

Mexico will end hosts Russia's Confederations Cup campaign with a Group A victory at the Kazan Arena on Saturday.

Juan Carlo Osorio's side sit top of the group going into the final round of matches on Saturday evening after following up an opening 2-2 draw with Euro 2016 winners Portugal with a come-from-behind 2-1 win against New Zealand.

A draw at n/a would suit Mexico going into the game and they look very capable of securing that result given they have suffered a measly two defeats in their last 38 international fixtures and are unbeaten in their last five.

Osorio was pleased with the way his side performed in the second half against New Zealand on Wednesday after he switched to a lone striker and used Oribe Peralta at the tip of the diamond.

Hector Herrera did not get on the scoresheet but impressed with his creativity after coming off the bench and could have done enough to earn himself a start against the Russians this weekend.

Raul Jimenez will be the man who Osorio will look to for goals as his effort against the Kiwis made it three in his last five outings for El Tri - and six goals in his last nine games in all competitions for club side Benfica and country.

Russia go into the game with coach Stanislav Cherchesov describing it as "a kind of final" given they sit in third place on three points - a point behind group leaders Mexico and Portugal in second.

Bearing in mind Portugal face the already-eliminated New Zealand at the same time and it becomes apparent why Cherchesov sees this as a must-win encounter for his side.

The 53-year-old also made changes in the second half of his side's 1-0 defeat against Portugal on Wednesday and was encouraged by the performance so is hopeful they can start Saturday's game on the front foot.

Russia have won just four of their last 17 internationals so will have to up their game significantly to get the better of Mexico.

They are n/a to pick up the three points and avoid becoming the first host team to fail to progress beyond the group stage since South Korea in 2001.

The two sides have only faced each other once in a competitive fixture and that ended in a draw at the 1970 World Cup finals in Mexico.

That result would suit Mexico although Osorio will no doubt hope they can win the game and finish as Group A winners given that Portugal are likely to defeat New Zealand in the other game.

But with Russia more in need of the victory, it is anticipated they will push men forward and that is where Mexico can possibly hurt them on the counter-attack and edge the contest.

Recommended bet: Home win at n/a

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