The matchup between Brazil and Mexico has the potential to be a showcase of attacking flair. Both teams play a wide open style and both teams also have question marks in their defence. Brazil topped Group E with 7 points and a goal differential of +4, earned through two wins and a draw. Mexico were runners-up in Group F with 6 points and a goal differential of -1, earned through two wins and a loss.
We still haven't seen Brazil at their best in this World Cup. Neymar has been generally frustrating to watch, as he holds up the ball on the wing, only to invite fouls and spends a significant portion of the match rolling on the pitch. When he does stay on his feet, Neymar has shown flashes of brilliance such as the match-clinching goal in injury time versus Costa Rica. Brazil's most consistent performer has been Philippe Coutinho who provides most of the creative drive within Brazil's midfield. Coutinho has demonstrated a fearless ability to shoot from distance and find the back of the net. Injury worries present some uncertainty for Brazil as Marcelo is doubtful with back spasms and midfielder Douglas Costa has been ruled out with a thigh injury. However, right back Danilo has recovered from his thigh strain, and should be available to provide Brazil a boost.
Mexico opened their World Cup campaign with a stunning 1-0 upset of defending champion Germany. They held off South Korea in a 2-1 win, but had nervous moments in the final Group F matchday as they were blow away 3-0 by Sweden and were reliant on an improbable Korean upset of Germany to secure their spot in the final 16. They will have to rebound and regain their spark versus Brazil. Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is an experienced and steady net minder with a knack for making dramatic acrobatic saves. Mexico have a plethora of attacking options up front. Carlos Vela, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and Hirving Lozano have each been adept at creating goal scoring chances. Miguel Layùn has been the weak link up front in the final third of the pitch, wasting many scoring opportunities. For Mexico to give Brazil a run for their money, Layùn cannot let chances go begging.
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