Mexico vs. Italy, 2013 Confederations Cup: Preview and TV schedule

Claudio Villa

Italy enters the Confederations Cup looking at an opportunity to experiment, while Mexico boss Jose Manuel de la Torre knows that a poor performance could cost him his job.

Two teams with completely different goals meet at the Maracana in Saturday's early Confederations Cup game. Mexico are desperate to improve on their World Cup-qualifying performances, but Italy have been playing well recently and will treat the competition as an opportunity to test out new lineups.

Confederations Cup team previews: Mexico Italy

Mexico drew 0-0 in two of their World Cup qualifying matches in June and were hardly impressive in their one win, a 1-0 victory over Jamaica. That win over the Reggae Boyz was Mexico's only win in 2013, a year that has featured eight draws for them thus far. Italy, meanwhile, are set to comfortably qualify for the World Cup with a game or two to spare despite playing in arguably the deepest group in UEFA.

While Italy are certainly favorites, expect Mexico to look a bit more competent against them than they have against recent CONCACAF opposition. Mexico raise their game against top-level opposition and are excellent on the counter, but they don't get to show it much in North America. They'll probably look more potent going forward against a team that isn't afraid to attack them and that likes keeping possession.

Mexico injuries and suspensions


Italy injuries and suspensions

In doubt: Stephan El Shaarawy

El Shaarawy has a minor ankle injury and should start on the bench, but expect him to suit up. Mario Balotelli was sent off in his most recent World Cup qualifying match but that suspension does not carry over to this competition.

Match date/time: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET

Venue: Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

TV: ESPN (U.S. - English), Univision (U.S. - Spanish), BBC Three (U.K.), CBC (Canada)

Online: Watch ESPN (U.S.)

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