Samara Arena - World Cup Round of 16
Mexico’s surprise defeat against Sweden on Wednesday means they now play World Cup favourites Brazil in the round of 16. The Selecao are yet to hit top gear, but they didn’t really need to in the group stage and things are building nicely for Tite’s side.
Brazil have won four of the last six meetings between the countries, with one draw and one Mexico win. The draw was at the last World Cup in Brazil, when the host nation failed to break down El Tri in the group stages, with the game ending goalless.
Marcelo missed Brazil’s final group game and is a doubt for this one along with fellow full-back Danilo. Douglas Costa looks set to miss the rest of the World Cup after suffering a hamstring injury, which is a blow to the Selecao’s attacking options. Luckily, they’re pretty well stocked in the final third.
Hector Moreno is suspended for Mexico after picking up a second yellow card of the tournament against Sweden. The Real Sociedad centre-half is the only absentee El Tri boss Juan Carlos Osorio has to contend with.
Brazil v Mexico Preview and Predictions
Mexico will be kicking themselves that they are preparing for Brazil in the last 16, instead of a Switzerland side they would’ve fancied their chances against. The Selecao meanwhile have the look of a team who are prepared to go course and distance in this World Cup.
It’s safe to say that Mexico blew it in their final group game. They were sitting pretty at the top of Group F after putting in a couple of assured performances against Germany and South Korea. Experienced and seemingly adept at sticking to their game plan, it all came apart in the face of a spirited Swedish onslaught.
Mexico are 13/2 for the win in this game, and few will give them a chance against a Brazil team that’s bursting with talent. The Selecao are the strong favourites in the betting, priced at 1/2, and it would be a major shock if they fail to beat El Tri, although Mexico were excellent in letting Germany control possession in their first game.
Brazil did beat Mexico three times in a row at the World Cup, scoring 11 goals without reply. However, that was between 1950 and 1962, and the only meeting since was the one four years ago which ended goalless. A draw after 90 minutes here is 17/5, while Brazil are 5/19 to qualify and Mexico are 7/2.
Brazil to win and both teams to score at 3/1
The Selecao have the players to pin back Mexico for long periods of this game. El Tri pose a threat on the break as they showed against Germany, but Brazil should be able to outscore them.
Gabriel Jesus to score first at 4/1
The Manchester City striker surely has to find the net at some point, and he’s the second favourite behind 10/3 Neymar to open the scoring in this last 16 encounter.