Five-time World Champions Brazil will face a formidable Mexico outfit in the Round of 16 match of the World Cup at the Samara Arena today.
This meeting in the last 16 is the 41st time the two countries have faced off, with Brazil leading the head-to-head with 23 victories to Mexico’s 10. In four World Cup meetings, Mexico are yet to even score. The match is scheduled for 8pm Bangladesh time.
Felipe Luis will start Brazil’s World Cup last-16 tie against Mexico instead of Marcelo, who was forced off against Serbia because of a back spasm.
Marcelo did train on Sunday so should be available off the bench.
1)Brazil are unbeaten in their four previous World Cup games against Mexico (W3, D1), keeping clean sheets in all four of those matches.
2)The most recent World Cup encounter was a group game in 2014 which ended 0-0.
3)The sides have met once since then, with Brazil winning 2-0 in a friendly in Sao Paulo in June 2015 courtesy of goals from Philippe Coutinho and Diego Tardelli.
1)Brazil have never lost a World Cup game against opponents from central or north America.
2)Their last six defeats at World Cup finals have been to European sides. The last non-European side to beat Brazil at the tournament were Argentina in 1990, who won a last 16 tie thanks to a Claudio Caniggia goal.
3)That defeat in 1990 was also the last time Brazil failed to reach the quarter-finals of a World Cup.
4)They have kept clean sheets in seven of their last eight games (W6, D2).
1)Mexico’s only previous World Cup win against South American opposition was their 2-0 victory against Ecuador in the group stage in 2002.
2)Defeat would see Mexico eliminated in the last 16 for a seventh consecutive World Cup.
3)They last reached the quarter-finals as hosts in 1986, beating Bulgaria 2-0 in the last 16 before bowing out to West Germany.
4)This will be Mexico’s 57th World Cup game – more than any other side who have never won the tournament.
5)Javier Hernandez has only had one shot on target in 270 minutes at this year’s World Cup, although he did score from it, against South Korea.
Analysis and Predictions
Brazil are likely to field the same starting lineup which played in their 2-0 win over Serbia. The likes of Neymar and Philippe Coutinho are coming into their own as Brazil’s slick passing and movement begins to take effect.
Brazil will have to contend with the dropping movements of Javier Hernandez. He brilliantly created space for others with his movement during Mexico’s 1-0 win over defending Champions Germany. Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng frequently had to follow him up the pitch, leaving Mexio with space to exploit behind the German backline.
Hirving Lozano, with pace to burn will be looking to exploit that sort of space. Mexico could well be looking to take advantage of Brazil right back Fagner’s inexperience and target that side of the pitch. Expect Carlos Vela to bring his physical playmaking style to the game to counter the likes of robust Brazil midfielders Casemiro and Paulinho.
It is going to be an exciting match and although Brazil are full of attacking potential, a tight game is expected.
Score Prediction: Brazil to make it to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 victory over Mexico.
Source: Daily Star