MOSCOW, Russia, Sporting Alert — Host nation Russia will take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the FIFA Confederations Cup on Wednesday, while Mexico and New Zealand will face-off in the second game of the tournament.
Russia cruised to a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in the opening game of the tournament on Saturday and will book a place in the knockout round with a second victory in midweek.
Meanwhile, Portugal and Mexico finished 2-2 in their Group A opener on Sunday and will be hoping to pick up three points as they seek to stay in contention to qualify for the knockouts.
The battle between Russia and Portugal will be played at Spartak Stadium in Moscow, starting at 11:00 am ET.
Live television coverage will be available on Fox Sports 1 USA, and you can also stream the game live on Fox Sports GO.
For the Mexico v New Zealand, this game will begin at 2:00 pm ET, and it will also be live on Fox Sports 1 USA, with live streaming available on Fox Sports GO.
El Tri, led by goalscoring forwards Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela, will definitely start as the favourites to beat the All Whites but will need to stay focus for the entire 90-minutes to get the job done.
At the same time, New Zealand aren’t prepared to just roll over and get beat again and will make the necessary adjustments to get something from the game.
“Everyone now, after that game, is incredibly determined to make sure we approach this game with the right mind-set and we have one focus which is we want to progress in this tournament,” said Kiwi coach Anthony Hudson.
Ronaldo, despite setting up a goal and hitting the bar in the first game, didn’t have a particularly good game against the Mexicans and he will be looking for a better performance against the Russians.
Russia, a relatively young side, will be playing in front of their home supporters so they will come out and play with a lot of energy.
However, playing with a 12th man in the stands can sometimes bring added pressure, which could result in mistakes being made.
Fyodor Smolov, the focal point in attack, has been in great form recently, and he could cause problems for the likes of Pepe and company in the back.
Portugal, the reigning European champions, will start with the slight edge, but if they go into the game overconfident they could very lose.