Brazil Vs Mexico – Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza – 10.00PM
World Cup record holders Brazil face off with Mexico at the Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza this Tuesday with a slot in the knock out stages the ultimate prize for both. The two sides won their first group games with Brazil coming from a goal down to beat a resilient Croatian side 3-1 whilst Mexico beat 1990 quarter finalists 1-0 in their opener.
Luis Felipe Scolari’s men maybe without striker Hulk who missed the Monday training session but everyone else is fine. The 2002 winning coach is expected to replace the Brazilian number 7 with Chelsea midfielder Ramirez an implication that Oscar, Fred and Neymar play as the attacking trio in a 4-3-3 system with Paulinho, Ramirez and Luis Gustavo as the three midfielders with the back four expected to remain unchanged.
As for the Mexicans, Coach Miguel Herrera has promised to keep the same side that beat Cameroon 1-0 thus Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez expected to start on the bench once again. Oribe Peralta who has scored nine goals in his previous seven for Mexico is expected to lead the line alongside Giovan Dos Santos as the front two in Herrera’s preferred 5-3-2 formation.
Brazil comes into the game with a brilliant World Cup record against Mexico having won all three previous meetings (4-0 in 1950, 5-0 in 1954 and 2-0 in 1962.) in the competition but they know in Mexico, they have an opponent that has beaten them the most in the previous years.
Mexico have won seven of the last 13 meetings (D2, L4) over the last 15 years – the most of any nation against Brazil during that period. The Selecao however won the most previous meeting 2-0 in the Confederations Cup last year at the same venue.
Once again, Neymar is expected to be the key man for the hosts having notched 24 goals in his previous 29 matches for country and at his age, he already lies seventh on the all time goal scorers’ chart in the Brazilian shirt with 33 in 55 matches.