Brazil Vs Mexico Preview: Can new talisman Coutinho lead his nation past their first real test?
Written by: Neelav Chakravarti
The Selecao have been handed a tough draw in the Round of 16 against the sublime and strong El Tri.
Five-time FIFA World Cup champions Brazil know that this is possibly their strongest team in recent years since their 2002 win. Much will be dependent on Barcelona midfielder Coutinho, as he has slowly become pivotal to his team in place of an uninspiring Neymar.
Meanwhile, Mexico has proved their mettle once again with their 1-0 win over Germany in their opening fixture. Although losing out on their last match, they still topped their group. Juan Osorio has a task in hand but knows that his squad consisting of the likes of Ochoa, Vela, and Hernandez can put in a good fight.
About the teams
Having Roma star Alisson in goal has given a certain degree of confidence to the players in front of him. Thiago Silva and Miranda have proved that experience comes in handy with decent displays in the group stage fixtures. Danilo and Marcelo could be back in their respective wing-back positions.
In the middle of the park, Tite will be looking forward to the brilliance of Coutinho and hardworking set of Paulinho and Casemiro. Up front, the trio of Willian, Gabriel Jesus, and Neymar will be expected to win the match.
Osorio will be relying a lot on the heroic goalkeeping skills of Guillermo Ochoa. Although Hector Moreno will be missed due to suspension, his partner Salcedo will be expected to carry on with the hard work. The backline will be shielded by Herrera and Guardado.
A lot will be dependent on the frontline of Hernandez, Vela, Lozano, and Layun. El Tri will be hoping to score the first goal, and then sit back and defend for the rest of the match.
The match will take place in The Samara Arena (41,970 capacity) on 2nd July 2018. After this match, the stadium will host a quarterfinal fixture too.
Brazil: Alisson, Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo, Casemiro, Paulinho, Willian, Coutinho, Neymar, Gabriel Jesus.
Mexico: Ochoa, Alvarez, Salcedo, Ayala, Gallardo, Guardado, Herrera, Vela, Layun, Lozano, Hernandez.
What to expect
Both the teams will be hoping to score the first goal in a tense upcoming fixture. The match will be decided by the defensive performances of both the teams, as both of them possess strong attacking lineups.
Khel Now predicts
Brazil 3-2 Mexico
Published: Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:22 AM IST