El Tri's Confederations Cup draw 

December, 1, 2012

New Brazil coach Felipe Scolari was typically forthright this week in demanding that the Brazilian federation should find him the best possible opposition ahead of the World Cup in 2014. After Saturday's Confederations Cup draw, he has at least three, as does El Tri.

Mexico opens against Italy, then faces Brazil and finishes Group A play against Japan. In the space of seven days between June 16 and June 22, Mexico's squad will have traveled over 3,000 miles. If it doesn't feel quite right to label it a "Group of Death," with only eight teams in the competition, there is certainly nowhere for El Tri to hide and no easy points. The tournament is a genuine litmus test for Jose Manuel de la Torre's Mexico team and one that people will be watching to see if recent success at youth level can be translated at full national team level.

Tom Marshall