Brazil vs Mexico - Expert vs Expert Preview


Hosts Brazil are looking to secure their path through to the knockout stage with their second victory of the World Cup. But Mexico, winners of their opening game against Cameroon, stand in their way. Our Brazil  expert Jack Lang goes head-to-head with Mexico  guru Jonny Rico Aviles. Who will come out on top?

 

TEAM NEWS

Jack Lang on Brazil: Luiz Felipe Scolari is likely to be forced to make one change to the side that beat Croatia on Thursday evening. Hulk limped out of training on Sunday and will miss out, with Ramires his most likely replacement. Oscar's place had appeared to be under threat in the run-up to that first game, but the Chelsea midfielder put in a superb display to silence his doubters.

Jonny Rico Aviles on Mexico: Miguel Herrera has a full squad of healthy players to choose from, with no injuries or suspensions to contend with. He is likely to field the same XI that started against Cameroon.

 

FORM

Jack Lang on Brazil: 16 wins in 17 games is a thoroughly impressive record, and one that should strike fear into the heart of this Mexico side. While the Seleção perhaps weren't at their best against Croatia, the star power of Neymar still dragged them over the finish line – a sign that this side can cope with its share of adversity. Nonetheless, Scolari will be keen for a more fluid, convincing performance here.

Jonny Rico Aviles on Mexico:Mexico displayed their best football in over a year in the opening match against Cameroon. They should have won the match by a greater margin, if not for bad officiating. Although the Miguel Herrera system (5-3-2) calls for two strikers; Giovani Dos Santos has been able to fit into the system nicely playing behind the lone striker Oribe Peralta. It was Dos Santos who scored two legitimate goals that were waived for offside. Manchester united striker Javier Hernandez has also provided great influence off of the bench.

 

WHAT THE MANAGER SAYS

Scolari on Brazil:"The players were fantastic. They kept calm and turned around the opening match of the World Cup, which is not easy. The fans deserve an even bigger hand, though. The support was amazing. It was out of this world and people can’t imagine what it was like."

Herrera on Mexico:“We have great fans, but we know that starting tomorrow we will be public enemy number one here in Brazil.”

 

KEY MAN

Jack Lang on Brazil: While Neymar was named FIFA man of the match against Croatia, Oscar was the true star of the show. Stationed out on the right, he whipped ball after ball into the opposition area, and tackled back diligently throughout. It remains to be seen whether Scolari will restore him to a more central role, but the Chelsea man will likely be key again.

Jonny Rico Aviles on Mexico:Once again the key player for Mexico will be Giovani Dos Santos. He is the player that can dribble past defenders and have a shot or serve up the assist to a teammate. He will be playing behind the lone striker and will roam freely from the middle to the wide positions. The only risk is that he may deviate a little too far and leave Oribe Peralta isolated.

 

BEST BET

Jack Lang: Fred anytime/Brazil win at 2.75. The striker made a similarly slow start to last summer's Confederations Cup, but soon hit the goal trail and ended up joint-top scorer with Fernando Torres. Brazil should enjoy the lion's share of possession here, meaning there will be chances for him to open his account.

Jonny Rico Aviles on Mexico:There will be more that 2.5 goals in this match (available at 1.62). Both sides have the attack as their biggest weapon while their defenses are more questionable. Also both team’s midfield players are all attack minded. Holding midfielders are not a priority for either team.

 

SCORE PREDICTION

Jack Lang: Brazil 2-0 Mexico at odds of 5.60

Jonny Rico Aviles: Brazil 2-2 Mexico at odds of 5.60

Bet on Group A now.