Mexico look to break through to the quarterfinals on Monday when they take on Brazil. Mexico already scored one big upset in the tournament, but El Tri were blown out by Sweden in their most recent match.
Mexico vs. Brazil Squads
Brazil have already revealed their squad for Mexico, and it’s got one major change. It’s exactly the same as the team’s group finale against Serbia, but Marcelo will be unable to start.
“Yes, we have confirmed the team,” Brazil coach Tite told reporters during the pre-match press conference. “The team that finished the last match.”
Marcelo has been crucial for Brazil, and his presence will be missed. The Real Madrid defender exited the match against Serbia with back spasms, and despite training away from the team he’ll be unable to start. Atletico Madrid anchor Felipe Luis will start in his place.
For Mexico, they will attempt to slow down the likes of Neymar and Coutinho without defender Hector Moreno. Moreno is suspended due to yellow card accumulation, but he’s just the latest in a run of bad luck for Mexico’s defense. El Tri was expected to have a strong back line in Russia, but Diego Reyes and Nestor Araujo were both unable to get healthy in time for the tournament.
Mexico pulled off their upset of Germany with a devastating counter attack. They were fine with letting Germany dictate possession, then breaking into space when given the opportunity. But Brazil is much more effective in the final third, and Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio has indicated that he has different tactics in mind for Monday.
“We will try to keep possession of the ball and I believe we can be better at it,” he said earlier this week. “Our intention is not to stay behind the ball all the time. We don’t want to stay very deep; they are very good in the last third and always score.”
These teams have met 40 times in total, but never at this stage in this competition. For these teams, the Round of 16 is something of a crossroads. For Mexico, this is Quinto Partido, the fifth game that has cursed them for six straight World Cups. For Brazil, they’ve won this match and reached at least the quarterfinals at every World Cup since 1990.
Mexico vs. Brazil Lineups
Lineups are released one hour before kickoff
Mexico: Ochoa, Ayala, Salcedo, Marquez, Herrera, Alvarez, Guardado, Gallardo, Vela, Hernandez, Lozano
Brazil: Alisson, Thiago, Miranda, Felipe Luis, Fagner, Casemiro, Coutinho, Paulinho, Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar