The newly confirmed favourites for the tournament, Brazil, face Mexico for the 5th time in World Cup competition, though their last win over their North American neighbours in this tournament was way back in 1962 when a certain Pele was still in the iconic yellow and blue. Brazil were solid, if a touch unimpressive on the whole in their group performance but have the look of a side slowly but surely beginning to look more than the sum of its parts. They’ll need to improve their profligacy in front of goal (only a quarter of their 19 shots on target have ended up in the back of the net), only 3 goals from only 13 shots on target (of which 1 was a penalty, and one was an own goal). The big culprit of this is lead forward Neymar, who has just 1 goal from his 17 shots. Philippe Coutinho meanwhile, has inspired many with his performances, and it’s likely the midfield maestro will be an integral part of a run to the final – if they can get that far.

Brazil vs Mexico Prediction and Preview

Mexico opened the tournament with a historic win over Germany, but then allowed themselves to capitulate massively against Sweden. Veteran stopper Guillermo Ochoa leads the save charts with 17 saves and was a key part of that incredible opening game.  On the opposite side, Mexico aren’t shy on the shooting – their 44 attempts thus far are amongst the highest of the remaining sides, but a poor accuracy rate (27%) and a poor conversion rate (25%). Layun, Lozano and Vela have converted 2 goals from the 24 shots between them, and they’ll need to improve that considerably if they’re to avoid a 7th consecutive Round of 16 exit.

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Tactical Considerations:

Tite has kept his side’s 433 shape largely intact throughout their group games, with the only critical amendment having come at right back where Fagner is now seemingly preferred to Danilo. Continuity has been Brazil’s key strength, and even despite mixed input from Willian and no goals at all from striker Gabriel Jesus, they’re unlikely to change from the lineup that has served them in the last two games. Of critical importance to that configuration is the impact of midfielders Coutinho and Casemiro; both have been immense in the manner they’ve served their roles in this World Cup, and the former in particular will be massively dangerous and important for Mexico to manage.

Mexico, like Brazil, have also kept the continuity intact with the 433 shape and team selections, but it may come to the match against Brazil to see them forced to use their weapons on the bench. Apart from young stars Hirving Lozano and Jesus Gallardo, and veterans Herrera, Ochoa, and Hernandez, the team has flattered to deceive. Mexico’s right seems particularly vulnerable given the mixed form of Layun and Salcedo, making it all the more concerning that the likes of Marcelo, Coutinho and Neymar will typically favour attacks from that side. Hector Herrera has the most tackles per game (4.7) of any player left in the competition, and he’ll be expected to put that combativeness to good use against the tricky Brazilian midfield starlet. 

Match Facts & Summary

  Brazil Mexico
World Cup Base Sochi Moscow
2014 World Cup Finish Semifinal Round of 16
Total Head to Head Record Played 40, Brazil 23 Wins, Mexico 10 Wins
Total Head to Head (World Cup Only) Played 4, Brazil 3 Wins
Penalty Shootout Record Won 3 of 4 Won 0 of 2
Odds – Result 0.48 6.07
Odds – To Win World Cup 3.50 (favourite) 70.00
Best Odds – Golden Boot Neymar (22.00) Hernandez (99.00)
Best Odds – Golden Ball Coutinho (5.00) Unavailable

 

Our Prediction:

While it’s been a World Cup of relative upsets thus far, Brazil are unlikely to falter too far just yet. Their backline has shown defensive reliability and experience alongside its attacking support, their midfield is both combative and creative, and their frontline has a healthy mix of trickery and finishing quality. Brazil don’t lack too much for depth either, and their options to make life difficult for the Mexicans, especially their weaker right-hand side, are extensive. Mexico will need to replicate the performance and the fortune that greeted them as their World Cup 2018 began, but without more quality to call on, the favourites should find it fairly straightforward to proceed to their 7th consecutive quarterfinal appearance.

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* Please note – odds mentioned above are subject to change, so always check the latest published odds to be fully certain before betting.

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