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Preview: Mexico v New Zealand

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  • Both sides seeking first win at Russia 2017
  • Marquez set to start in much-changed Mexico line-up
  • New Zealand out to end winless run and scoring drought

Mexico and New Zealand meet in Sochi’s Fisht Stadium on Wednesday, and both will be feeling the pressure. El Tri will consider a win essential to their hopes of reaching the semi-finals, while New Zealand know that another defeat is all but certain to kill off their chances of an extended Russia stay. 

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FIFA.com team reporter analysis
Martin Langer with Mexico
There were plenty of positives and negatives for Mexico in their 2-2 draw with Portugal. They will be keen to build on the former against a New Zealand side which shouldn’t, on the evidence of their 2-0 defeat to Russia, offer as stern a challenge as the European champions. Coach Juan Carlos Osorio is expected to keep to his habit of rotating most of his starting XI, which could result in the inclusion of up to eight new faces, the most significant of which would be Rafa Marquez. 

Brendon Hanley with New Zealand
After an opening match against Russia in which little went to plan, the Kiwis fancy their chances more against Mexico. That confidence is down to a good performance against El Tri in October, when the All Whites created several chances in a narrow 2-1 loss. Expect Anthony Hudson to make some changes aimed at resting fatigued players and giving his side a better chance of holding possession.

What you need to know 
1 He’s already Mexico’s all-time leading scorer and Javier Hernandez is also emerging as a Confederations Cup specialist. The prolific striker’s diving header against Portugal took him to within two goals of the 50-mark for El Tri, and also established him as their second-highest scorer at this tournament with four. Chicharito will, though, do well to match the record-holder: nine-goal Cuauhtemoc Blanco, the Confederations Cup’s joint all-time leading marksman.

2 Losing to Russia means that New Zealand have now gone a record ten games without a win at the Confederations Cup. While they will be hoping to end that sequence against Mexico, even managing a goal would be an achievement. The All Whites have, after all, also failed to find the net in any of their last five matches at the Tournament of Champions, with that 513-minute run also an unwanted competition record.

3 Having remained on the bench throughout the draw with Portugal, Mexico captain Rafa Marquez – at 38 years and four months – is poised to start against New Zealand and become the second-oldest player in Confederations Cup history. Marquez is the only player at Russia 2017 with experience of winning the trophy and has already stated that he plans on playing on for the national team until next year’s FIFA World Cup™.

Possible line-ups 
Mexico: Alfredo Talavera; Diego Reyes, Nestor Araujo, Oswaldo Alanis, Luis Reyes; Marco Fabian, Rafael Marquez, ​Gio Dos Santos; Javier Aquino, Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano


New Zealand: Stefan Marinovic; Tom Doyle, Tommy Smith, Andrew Durante, Themi Tzimopoulos, Michael Boxall; Ryan Thomas, Bill Tuiloma, Michael McGlinchey; Chris Wood, Marco Rojas

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