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World Cup 2018: 3 reasons why Brazil vs Mexico has the potential to be a Classic

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.79K   //    29 Jun 2018, 18:00 IST

Brazil v Costa Rica: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Neymar Jr.

The group stage of the FIFA World Cup has been nothing short of fascinating. The biggest surprise of the lot was Germany getting knocked out. Apart from that, we saw Iran fluff a late chance to go through, Argentina pull off a heist against Nigeria and Japan move on to the next stage courtesy Fair Play points. 

The Round of 16 has some intriguing matches in store. While France vs Argentina is the showpiece game of the round, the tie between Brazil and Mexico has the potential to be a humdinger.

Brazil finished top of their group with 7 points and are looking ominous. Mexico, meanwhile, blew their chance to finish top when they capitulated to a 3-0 defeat against Sweden. 

The previous World Cup meeting between Brazil and Mexico ended 0-0 with Ochoa putting in a heroic performance. However, one can expect the goals to flow in this tie, with both possessing an abundance of attacking talent. Through this article, we would look at reasons which make this tie an enthralling watch:


#3 Brazil’s attack vs Mexico’s counter-attack

Brazil came into the tournament with their front four in scintillating form. Even though they took time to fire in the World Cup, their performance against Serbia would have sent shivers down other teams’ spines.

Philippe Coutinho has been irresistible in all the games and has bagged two goals and an assist along the way. The concern for Brazil would be Neymar’s form. Neymar hasn’t hit his straps yet and the Brazilians would be hoping it happens sooner rather than later.

Mexico, on the other hand, shot to prominence with their win against the defending champions, Germany. They executed the counter-attack to perfection that day. Like a sponge, they absorbed all the pressure that came their way and sprang the counter to devastating effect.

Mexico’s front three of Lozano, Vela and Hernandez caused Germany all sorts of problems with their direct running. Another aspect Brazil need to guard against is Mexico’s switch of play. They try and overload one side of the pitch and then switch it quickly to Layun, who finds himself in space due to the overload.

Casemiro’s presence in midfield would be crucial as he would provide the back four with the necessary protection. If Casemiro fails to carry out his defensive duties, Brazil would open a Pandora’s box of problems for themselves.

This game would also follow a similar pattern with Brazil on the front foot and Mexico waiting for their opportunity to pounce. This makes for an intriguing game as the stakes are much higher than a group game. It would be interesting to see how Brazil try and counter the threat of Mexico’s counter-attack.



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