The pre-tournament favourites Brazil face Mexico in their last 16 game on Monday in what should be a thrilling clash. Whilst the South American sides will approach the match as strong favourites, everyone will remember how El Tri played against Germany in the first game, when they secured a memorable 1-0 win. That will give them hope that they can cause an upset again although they are going to be up against it with Neymar, Coutinho and co ready to show why they are favourites.
Brazil’s route to the knockout round wasn’t straightforward and they haven’t appeared to hit their stride. We’ve only seen flashes of their attacking talent, with a strong defensive structure the base for their success. Tite’s men have only conceded one goal in this tournament and that came from a set-piece, so if they get more from Neymar and Coutinho continues his fine form, they have a chance.
Meanwhile, Mexico were the star team of the tournament after the first two group games which included beating holders Germany and South Korea. Their attacking intent, speed on the counter and fearless attitude was very impressive. However, they fell apart against Sweden in the final match, losing 3-0 and only qualified because of South Korea beating Germany.
Here we will give you Brazil vs Mexico betting tips, look at where the game will be won, the key players and a Brazil vs Mexico prediction for the last 16 clash.
Our Brazil vs Mexico Prediction: Brazil 3-1 Mexico
Our Brazil vs Mexico prediction tips is for a very entertaining game that will be end-to-end but ultimately the individual excellence of the South Americans will win them the game.
With many of the big guns falling at the World Cup, Brazil will know they can’t afford any complacency against the Mexicans but that shouldn’t be an issue for Tite who will be reminding his players of the importance. He will continue with the 4-3-3 formation that has served them so well but will want more from his attacking players. Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Willian haven’t impressed but everyone knows the talent is there and if they do click then the Samba Boys could be a great watch and we think they will deliver on the big stage.
Whilst the hammering by Sweden will worry Mexico they may actually benefit from playing a better side that will control possession. The way they performed against Germany will give them the belief that they can turn Brazil over and they will follow a similar game plan. It will be about counter attacking at speed, exploiting space that the full-backs leave and playing with a real intensity.
Our recommended tip – Brazil to win and 3+ goals
There’s no doubt that Mexico have enough about them to really get at Brazil and they will cause them problems despite the strong Brazilian defence.
The Samba Boys naturally play on the front foot, they only have one real defensive midfielders and the full-backs regularly join up in the attacks, which inevitably leaves gaps. The likes of Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez and particularly Hirving Lozano will take advantage of that and El Tri can get on the scoresheet.
However, they showed against Sweden how vulnerable they are defensively and they are coming up against a formidable attack. Quite simply, Brazil are far superior player for player. They have genuine world class talents all over the pitch and Coutinho is in superb form from midfield. As mentioned, the others have only shown flashes of their quality but it could still be enough.
We expect them to take it up another level against Mexico and progress to the last eight in what should be a very exciting game.
The clash in Samara will be the latest in what has been a regular international fixture as it’s the 41st meeting between the nations. As you would expect, it’s a match up that Brazil have dominated, winning 23 and drawing seven of the previous 40. Yet, Mexico drew with them four years ago on Brazilian turf and beat them in an Olympic final.
As for their form, as mentioned, Brazil have been effective without playing great football. They were held by Switzerland, needed injury-time goals to beat Costa Rica and weren’t entirely convincing, although they did improve, against Serbia. Either way, there have been promising signs and the talent in the XI is undoubted.
Whereas, we’ve seen the good and the bad of the Mexicans. That performance against Germany was incredible and arguably the most impressive display from anyone at the tournament. Yet, the way they crumbled against Sweden is extremely alarming. There was huge pressure and expectation on the side but they just didn’t turn up in a game they were expected to win, if that is replicated they will have no chance in Samara.
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Players to watch – Phil Coutinho & Hector Herrera
The main man for Brazil on paper is Neymar but their star man in Russia is without doubt Coutinho. The Barcelona star has been integral in this team, scoring crucial goals and weighing in with big assists. As well as that, his general play has been outstanding. He is the link in the final third, capable of feeding the attackers with his dribbling ability and eye for a pass. Coutinho has stepped up for club and country in the past 12 months and even with Neymar in the side he has established himself as the most important player in this side.
Mexico are going to adopt a similar game plan to the one against Germany and they will need their players to hit the same heights. A key man in that match was Porto’s Herrera, who was energetic in his closing down, quality on the ball and a presence in both boxes. He is sure to start in Samara and will have a role to play in an attacking and defensive way, whether it’s closing down Coutinho and Neymar or setting up attacks with a crucial first pass.