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Preview: Mexico v Italy

Confederations Cup

Teams: Mexico v Italy

Date: 16 Jun 2013

Venue: Maracana

Mexico come into the Confederations Cup under considerable pressure and face a tough start against Italy in their opening game of the tournament.

The Mexicans have drawn five of the six games they have played in their 2014 World Cup qualifiers, which has left them in the third and final automatic qualifying spot - though most of the other teams have played a game less.

They have struggled to find goals in recent matches but young Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez will be tasked with changing their fortunes. Coach Jose de la Torre must also decide as to whether he will restore Giovani dos Santos to the starting XI.

Italy, on the other hand, have enjoyed a significant boost with the news that striker Mario Balotelli could be fit to start the game after a thigh injury.

The Azzurri, though, have also struggled for form after consecutive draw with Czech Republic and Haiti prior to the start of the tournament.

The Europeans will be hoping that Andrea Pirlo, who is set to win his 100th cap, will produce the same form that took them to the final of Euro 2012.

The Mexicans beat Italy 2-1 back in 2010 - but that was their only win against them - while the Italian' last win came back in 1993.

Group A: Mexico

Preview: Mexico v Italy

Balotelli Sinks Mexico

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