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CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C: Back Mexico to fill their boots again

Mexico may be missing their prolific poacher Javier Hernandez from the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but punters could be forgiven for forgetting his absence as the Aztecs smashed six past Cuba in their group opener.

Coached by energetic touchline presence Miguel Herrera, the Mexicans have laid down a major marker at the tournament. Up next for El Tri is a game with a Guatemala, while Cuba will get the chance to respond in Group C against Trinidad and Tobago, which is kicks off first.

Trinidad and Tobago v Cuba
Despite the Soca Warriors turning out at the 2006 World Cup, it’s Cuba who have had the better of this encounter in recent times with four victories to two. This is not reflected in the betting, however, as Coral make Trinidad and Tobago firm odds-on 1/8 favourites.

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Cuba are tasty 10/1 outsiders, but will have to contend with Cardiff City target man Kenwyne Jones. He’s odds-on to net anytime at 4/7, but better to break the deadlock at 5/2.

Nicknamed the Lions of the Caribbean, Cuba are reliant on one of ageing trio Alain Cervantes (7/1 anytime), Ariel Martinez (the same price) and Yenier Marquez (15/2) getting goals. The trend could well be bucked here, with a 3-0 Trinidad and Tobago win a fantastic 4/1.

Guatemala v Mexico
These two met in a friendly back in May, and the Aztecs ran out easy 3-0 winners, so a repeat of that result is the minimum you expect of Herrera’s men. For Mexico to record that precise scoreline again, odds of 21/5 are available.

It’s the handicap market that may appeal to punters more than nailing their colours to the mast with a definitive prediction like this, though. Give El Tri a three-goal deficit to overturn, and you are rewarded with a nifty 19/10 price. Having hit Cuba for six last time out, and put four past Guatemala at the Gold Cup before, these odds looks great.

After their rampant display in the group opener, many of Mexico’s attacking options are odds-on in the anytime market. The outright match betting offers scant value too with the Aztecs huge favourites at 1/10.

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Winger Jesus Corona scored last in the meeting back in May, and looks decent value at 3/1 to do so again. El Tri frontman Oribe Peralta, meanwhile, has clearly taken up the goal burden from Chicharito, and is an 8/1 shot to repeat his hat-trick against Cuba here.

All Guatemala’s goal hopes seem to hang on 35-year-old Carlos Ruiz, but he’s a massive 6/1 long shot to net again anytime after his consolation against Trinidad and Tobago.

Coral’s top tip: Mexico to win despite a -3 handicap is a neat 19/10.