While a match between two teams who have already been eliminated from play might not sound like the most exciting thing to do with your Saturday afternoon, the Confederations Cup matchup between Mexico and Japan has potential to be thrilling.
Japan and Mexico have both failed to tally a point thus far and haven't lived up to the success they've found in their respective organizations. Japan had a tough draw in their first game, pulling Brazil who would go on to win 3-0. In their second loss to Italy however, Japan's offense got rolling thanks to Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa. Japan even had a two goal lead at one point. Japan put on a strong performance in their second loss against a very talented team.
Mexico wasn't so lucky.
Mexico took on Italy and was able to muster just one goal, which, after their second loss to Brazil, would be their only goal of the Confederations Cup. Mexico just hasn't had much going on offensively and just couldn't put anything together through their first two games.
While both Mexico and Japan lost their first two games, they certainly didn't look the same on the field. Japan, especially in their second game, at least looked threatening for a while. Mexico never posed a huge threat in their two games.
So, as the game gets underway and plays out, a number of things could happen. Here are some bold predictions for the meeting between Japan and Mexico:
Kagawa and Honda Will Struggle
Kagawa and Honda played major roles in Japan's first games, especially during their 4-3 loss to Italy. Kagawa, a midfielder who suits up for Manchester United normally, was able to find the back of the net in the 33rd minute to give Japan a two goal lead. Honda was able to net a penalty kick early, which got Japan rolling.
While these two had a major impact in their last game, they'll be quiet against Mexico. Mexico's talented playmakers will be very tough for Japan to handle, especially for Kagawa who has struggled defensively in the past.
It's not called a bold prediction for nothing, right?
The Game Will Be High Scoring
Considering the fact that Mexico and Japan both were shut out in one of their games and have goal differentials of minus-three and minus-four, respectively. The matchup between the two however, will be a high-scoring affair.
Both teams have nothing to lose as there's nothing for them to play for. Neither team can advance to the next round, so they'll come out trying to save face as much as possible in their go-home game.
Mexico Will Get The Win
If you've watched Mexico and Japan play in the Confederations Cup, this probably looks pretty bold. Japan put on a strong showing against Italy in their second game and has at least been able to get things rolling.
Mexico hasn't. They haven't played up to their lofty expectations, especially with guys like Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez on the squad.
In their matchup on Saturday, Mexico will finally get the offense going and they'll take down Japan.