FIFA World Cup 2018 Preview: Brazil -v- Mexico

Mon, Jul 02 2018

We're not sure what's going on here. Credit: Tom Beary

BRAZIL

Brazil didn’t get the rub of the green they were looking for after topping Group E as they drew the green shirts of Mexico in Samara in the last 16 (kick-off 3pm).

Goals in either half from Paulinho and Thiago Silva saw the Selecao top their qualifying group with seven points.

Having opened with a shaky 1-1 draw against Switzerland, Brazil got back on course with wins over Costa Rica and the Serbs in their final group games.

Brazil manager Tite confirmed in advance of this game he would continue with the same side that beat Serbia, with Filipe Luis in place of Marcelo.

The Real Madrid full-back limped off in that game and returned to training, along with Manchester City’s Danilo, but wouldn’t be fit for a full 90 or 120 minutes.

“I talked to Marcelo,” said Tite.

“In a normal situation, he would play. But I cannot be the coach put an athlete in a dangerous situation in a game like this.

“I told him how nice it is to have a guy who wants to go on the field, who wants to participate.

“It shows his responsibility, his commitment, but he would have only 45 or 60 minutes of safety time. I cannot do it in a decisive game.”

Brazil have no other injury worries heading into the game.

MEXICO

For the second World Cup in success, Mexico and Brazil face off but, this time, with the winner facing a quarter-final.

The sides drew 0-0 as both advanced from Group A at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with Mexico narrowly losing to the Netherlands in the last 16.

Mexico stunned holders Germany in their opening match before following it up with a win over South Korea, however a 3-0 defeat to Sweden cost them top spot in the group.

So instead of Switzerland, El Tri face what manager Juan Carlos Osorio considers the best team in world football.

"Brazil is a great team,” Osorio said.

“I would dare to say that it is the best in the world, because collectively all of its players have the ability to control and pass the ball very well.

“They have five top level attackers like Neymar, Willian, Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus and Douglas Costa.

"It is a super team with defenders with great aerial football. The wings join the attack as few and have in Tite a high level coach.

“Apart from knowing how to mix their players very well, it always gives a defensive solidity with a midfielder, with Fernandinho or Casemiro.

"It's a great opportunity for Mexican football, to face the best team in the world in the round of 16 and play our potential. It's going to be a great game."

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)

MATCH STATS

Brazil and Mexico have faced one another 40 times in their history, with Brazil winning 23 times to Mexico’s ten, and seven games drawn.

Before their scoreless draw at World Cup 2014, their last competitive meeting was in the final of the London Olympics in 2012, where two Oribe Peralta goal saw Mexico win gold.

The sides have met four times in the World Cup, Brazil winning three and the scoreless draw in 2014, while Mexico are yet to score in any of those games.

BETTING

Brazil 1/2; Draw 16/5; Mexico 6/1.

PREDICTION

Brazil 1 – 2 Mexico

Brazil

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Marcelo.

Suspended: None.

Mexico

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.