Verdict: Brazil win
Best odds: 1/2
In one of the most interesting last 16 games of World Cup 2018, Brazil and Mexico clash on Monday night, as the pre-tournament favourites look to seal their spot in the competitions quarter-finals.
Brazil started the tournament as favourites to lift the trophy and the Selecao remain the most fancied team to win World Cup 2018. Tite’s highly talented team are now 14 games unbeaten, having beaten Costa Rica and Serbia while drawing with Switzerland in the group stages.
While the South American giants have scored two or more goals in four of their last five matches, their defensive record is even more impressive. Tite’s team have conceded just once in their previous eight games.
Douglas Costa is ruled out due to injury, while first-choice full-backs Marcelo and Danilo are currently doubts. If the pair fails to recover, Felipe Luis and Fagner will deputise.
Mexico looked to be breezing through to the knockout stages after winning their first two games against Germany and South Korea. However, a 3-0 defeat against Sweden in their last game made it a nervous finish for Central American nation.
El Tri have been highly inconsistent of late, winning three, losing three and drawing one of their last seven matches. Mexico’s recent international matches have been low scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in five of their previous seven games.
Mexico have now made it to the knockout stages in the last seven World Cups. However, El Tri have never made the quarter-finals of the competition, except when playing on home soil in 1970 and 1986.
Mexico will be without centre-back Hector Moreno through suspension, as he picked up a second booking their last group game with Sweden. Moreno’s replacement is likely to be Hugo Ayala. However, boss Juan Carlos Osorio is unlikely to make many more changes to his starting line-up from last time out.
Brazil are red hot favourites to head through from this clash. Tite’s team have not been at their best in Russia so far, but they have shown flashes of what they can do. Mexico have blown hot and cold in recent months.
Tite’s side should have too much quality for the Mexicans and record a win in a high scoring game. For Mexico, the last 16 hoodoo looks set to continue for another four years.
Verdict: Brazil Win
Best Odds: 1/2
Who would progress from this last 16 clash?