Mexico vs. Cuba: Odds, Live Stream, TV Schedule for 2019 Gold CupJune 14, 2019
Favourites Mexico kick off their 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign with their opening Group A clash against Cuba at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Saturday.
El Tri are the most successful side in the tournament's history with seven titles, but they only made the semi-finals as defending champions two years ago.
This summer, they will be aiming to get back to the final to fight for an eighth Gold Cup, and they will be confident of making a winning start against a Cuba side 156 places below them in the FIFA rankings.
Date: Saturday, June 15
Time: 7 p.m. local, 10 p.m. ET, 3 a.m. BST (Sunday)
TV Info: Fox Sports 2 (U.S.), FreeSports (UK)
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Match Odds (via Oddschecker): Mexico 1-33, Cuba 33-1, Draw 14-1
Cuba have enjoyed some success at Gold Cups in the past, reaching the quarter-final stages in 2003, 2013 and 2015.
After failing to qualify for the 2017 edition, though, they could not have asked for a tougher reintroduction to the tournament than a clash with Mexico.
El Tri are missing some of their best players. Experienced trio Hector Herrera, Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela all asked not to be involved, while PSV Eindhoven forward Hirving Lozano is absent through injury:
Mexico still boast a strong squad, though, and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos has been excellent in Major League Soccer recently:
And striker Raul Jimenez is fresh from a superb debut season in the Premier League with Wolverhampton Wanderers:
Perhaps Mexico's biggest asset is their coach, Gerardo Martino. Appointed in January, the former Barcelona boss has overseen four consecutive wins in preparation for the Gold Cup.
The 56-year-old has a fine reputation as an international manager. He led Paraguay to the Copa America final in 2011 and then repeated the trick with Argentina in 2015 and 2016.
On all three occasions, his side finished runners-up, but Martino is a man who knows how to guide a side through tournament football. And with Mexico, he has arguably the best squad at the 2019 Gold Cup.
Saturday's opener should be a routine victory for El Tri, but there are always nerves and teething problems in early group-stage matches.
What Martino will be looking for against Cuba is a comfortable win that Mexico can use to build on as they aim to go all the way in the tournament.