Soccer Picks: Mexico vs. Portugal

Nila Amerova

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 6:00 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 4, 2014 6:00 PM UTC

Mexico and Portugal have a friendly date this week at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts. It is their penultimate FIFA 2014 World Cup warm-up match. Here’s a primer on this highly anticipated clash, along with choice soccer picks for your betting entertainment.

Mexico at the disadvantage
Mexico began World Cup preparations last week with a friendly against Ecuador. El Tri were the favourites according to odds makers, matched at +125 to win outright. Happily, they came through on their favourable odds, winning 3-1 at the AT&T Stadium in Texas. 

On the downside for Mexico, the friendly match cost them several key injuries, namely to Luis Montes, who broke his leg after colliding with Segundo Castillo. Montes will obviously miss the World Cup now, which is a huge blow to Mexico’s campaign. Mexico’s captain Rafa Maquez suffered a foot injury during the match, as well, which just heaps more injury concerns for Mexico coach Miguel Herrera.

Indeed, since the disastrous incidents against Ecuador, Mexico’s World Cup odds in their group opener with Cameroon have drifted marginally from +120 to +130. In group forecasts – odds to simply advance – they’ve drifted from +100 to +110. The movement isn’t huge as it were, but more changes could occur where their odds are concerned in the lead up to Brazil that could cast further doubt on Mexico’s chances. 

On the plus side, World Cup betting fans were treated to a delightful preview of El Tri ‘s attack. Just a couple of minutes before going down with his injury in the first half, Montes scored a brilliant goal. Curling a shot from 25 yards out, he tucked a goal into the side netting to give Mexico the 1-0 lead. Marco Fabian netted a second goal for Mexico in the 66th minute, and, less than ten minutes later, Giovani Di Santos’ drilled a shot bounced off the post, then off the goalkeeper, into the net. Ecuador responded with a goal in the 80th minute, but it was a little too late to start a comeback. 

Portugal at the advantage
American football fans are in for a real treat: a personal preview of Portugal on US soil, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Co., have descended on New England in anticipation of their friendly with Mexico. Portugal and USA are drawn into the same World Cup Group with Germany and Ghana, which is widely considered to be the ‘Group of Death’, and it’ll be an interesting measure of USA’s chances to emerge into the knockouts.

Portugal are flush off a scoreless draw with Greece last week, their first of three warm up fixtures ahead of the finals. Conspicuously, Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of the starting line-up against Greece, and he didn’t even feature as a substitute. It’s expected that the Real Madrid striker will feature in the clash against Mexico, however, if not in the starting line-up, then at least at some point, as he’ll be looking to work his way into fitness and form before Brazil. Unlike some nations, Portugal scheduled tough friendly matches in the lead up to Brazil against Greece, Mexico and Republic of Ireland. It's obviously a show of respect to their opponents in Group G; a sign that they aren’t taking anything for granted even though odds makers expect Portugal to go beyond group action in World Cup betting. 

Soccer Betting Verdict 
Predictably, Portugal are listed at the advantage for their clash with Mexico, albeit on the short side of even money at +110, some of which underscores their value: a No.3 FIFA world-ranking, world-class talent, which includes the best player on the planet right now, Cristiano Ronaldo. Mexico are at the disadvantage at +225 to win outright, a rather apt market stance, all things being considered. This doesn’t mean that Mexico can’t win this match, although it’s hard to see them risking much, given their recent spate of injury woes. If they have an advantage over Portugal, it’s the fact that they have been in the United States since last week’s clash with Ecuador, so they are better acclimatized. By contrast, Portugal are only just arrived on US soil, probably still dealing with jetlag, and the like, that could hamper their intensity in this clash. 

Free Soccer Picks: Portugal to win outright at +110; 1-0 at +550 as your next winning soccer pick.

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