Confederations Cup, Semi Final
Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Russia 7pm
Germany vs Mexico – Match Preview – World Champions Germany have the obstacle of Gold Cup winners Mexico in their path to reach the Confederations Cup Final against Chile and achieve further international success.
The prize of victory is a mouth-watering final against international football’s form team and back-to-back Copa America Champions – Chile – after La Roja deservedly dispatched Portugal on penalties in the other semi-final following a tense 0-0 draw after extra time. Both sides will be desperate to appear in the showcase event at the Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg.
Germany undoubtedly are strong favourites and many expect the World Cup 2014 victors to emerge with the Confederations Cup trophy on 2nd July, despite naming and fielding a squad devoid of even a handful of regular first-choice names, but with players desperate to stake a claim to be in the squad defending the World Cup next year. By doing so and lifting the trophy a strong message will be sent out to the rest of the world – Germany’s strength in depth is frightening.
Joachim Low’s men have been in typically efficient form so far in this tournament, having enough power to see off Australia 3-2 in their first match, a 1-1 draw with Chile was quickly forgotten about after an accomplished 3-1 victory over Cameroon to top Group B and set up this clash.
Mexico will be no pushovers though, Juan Carlos Osario’s side have scored 2 in each of their three group matches so far and more than deserved their late equaliser against European Champions and fallen semi-finalists Portugal in the opening game. A fairly comfortable 2-1 victory over OFC Nations Cup Winners New Zealand before coming from a goal down to win by the same score-line against hosts Russia showcased promising, resilient attributes moving forward. Mexico finished 2nd in Group A on account of goal difference and more specifically Portugal beating New Zealand 4-0.
Ranked 17th in the World, El Tri possess star power in the squad; record goal-scorer Javier Hernandez, ex-Arsenal Carlos Vela and Hector Herrera and Miguel Layun of Porto are just some of the names plying their trade in some of European football’s elite divisions and will by no means be taken lightly by the World Champions.
This encounter entices goals, as mentioned above Mexico have netted 2 in every game so far, pair that with Germany being unable to attain a clean sheet all tournament and is set up to be quite the exciting prospect.
Low has been without both Leroy Sane and Diego Demme due to pre-tournament injuries but chose to not call any replacements, leaving the manager with a squad of 21 to choose from.
The Germans play with just one up front which could cause a selection dilemma, with Lars Stindl scoring in each of the first two games but RB Leipzig striker Tino Werner securing a brace against Cameroon last time out.
Juan Carlos Osario has several selection concerns; Carlos Salcedo has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament after sustaining a shoulder injury and the experienced Andres Guardado is suspended after picking up two yellow cards. Key players Javier Hernandez and Hector Moreno are also a doubt, alongside Diego Reyes who has not fully trained.
Players to Watch
Julian Draxler is a wonderful footballer to watch; with excellent technical ability and elusive movement the 23-year-old will be a consistent nuisance to the Mexican backline. Often deployed on the left, Draxler cuts inside and is blessed with the ability to strike a ball from distance with either foot and is a threat from anywhere in the final third. Already with 33 international caps to his name; Draxler’s performances for Schalke incited Wolsburg to first pay roughly £35m for his services, before PSG then also acquired the established midfielder for a similar fee and he hasn’t disappointed in the French capital. He is one of the few who regularly play for the full-strength German side and is likely to have a huge influence should Germany pave a way to yet another international final.
Hirving Lozano is a name many may not have previously heard of, but the explosive winger has been excellent in this tournament, illustrated by scoring the winning goal against hosts Russia. Despite his tender age, the 21-year-old has already made 149 senior appearances and scored a very respectable 43 goals in that period. PSV Eindhoven have conducted excellent business by purchasing the 17-times capped attacker for as little as approximately £6m early in the summer and plenty of specatators will be keen to see what he can bring to the European stage. On the international stage, however, Germany will be wary of the wide-man’s threat, Lozano holds the ability to drift past players at ease and where many contemporaries of his age lack in the final third he does not, highlighting danger signs whenever he has possession.
- Skybet Price Boost – Leon Goretzka to score and Germany to win in 90 mins – 5/1
- Skybet Price Boost – Carlos Vela to score and Mexico to win in 90 mins – 7/1
- Skybet Scorecast Boost – Timo Werner to score first and Germany to win 3-1 – 60/1
- Skybet Scorecast Boost (Double Chance) – Javier Hernandez to score first and either Mexico to win 2-0 or Mexico to win 3-0 – 50/1
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- Skybet RequestAbet 11/1 to 28/1 – Each team to take 3+ corners in each half – 18/1
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- Skybet RequestAbet 80/1 and Above – Over 4.5 goals, 15+ match corners and 70+ match booking pts – 150/1
- Skybet Featured RequestAbets – Hernandez to score and Kimmich to be carded – 8/1