Preview: Brazil v Mexico

Brazil’s mission to rectify their disappointing 2014 FIFA World Cup™ campaign is still on course after they navigated their way to the summit of Group E at Russia 2018. Brazil’s journey to the Round of 16 has been anything but smooth: After drawing 1-1 with Switzerland in their opener and leaving it late to claim a 2-0 win over Costa Rica, they beat Serbia 2-0 to ultimately move on as expected group winners.

One of the questions that Mexico will need to answer is: has their momentum gone? After starting their Russia 2018 journey off with two solid wins, most notably a 1-0 victory over 2014 champions Germany, they followed that up with a 3-0 defeat to Sweden. El Tri may take confidence from their most recent World Cup meeting with Brazil in 2014, a goalless draw in Fortaleza on 17 June, the only of the four encounters between the two sides that did not end in a Brazil victory.

Team reporter analysis
Giancarlo Giampietro with Brazil [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]
Brazil has been gradually improving, following the coaching staff’s plans. The team enters the knockout stage with plenty of confidence, and it feels like those first 180 minutes of tension are way behind them. The expectation around the players is that Mexico will go for a full-pitch press. This may put pressure on the defensive line to make plays, but could also open up spaces for A Seleção’s stars to shine.

Martin Langer with Mexico [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]
Mexico will try to break their Round of 16 hoodoo by defeating the most difficult team possible, but one whom they have fared pretty well against in recent times. The team will also have the motivation of bouncing back from their disappointing performance in the last group match against Sweden, and will have to do so without suspended central defender Hector Moreno, one of its most important players.

Did you know?
In their four previous World Cup matches with Mexico, Brazil have never conceded a goal against El Tri, outscoring them 11-0 in those encounters.

Possible line-ups
Brazil: Alisson; Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Filipe Luis; Casemiro, Paulinho; Willian, Philippe Coutinho, Neymar, Gabriel Jesus

Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa; Miguel Layun, Hugo Ayala, Carlos Salcedo, Jesus Gallardo; Hector Herrera, Jonathan Dos Santos, Andres Guardado; Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano

Source: FIFA