2014 World Cup Brazil vs Mexico Betting Preview

2014 World Cup – Group A
Brazil vs Mexico

Estádio Governador Plácido Aderaldo Castelo – Fortaleza, Brazil
Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 3:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN, Univision
Money Line: Mexico +875 / Brazil -330 / +445 Draw
Point Line: Brazil -1.5 Even / Mexico +1.5 -120
Total: under 3 -125 / over 3 +105
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker

Brazil and Mexico meet in the World Cup after both won their opening games.
Brazil and Mexico meet in the World Cup after both won their opening games.

Both Mexico and Brazil got wins in their opening matches in Group A, but neither had it easy. Host nation Brazil beat Croatia 3-1 despite conceding an own goal early in the match in Sao Paulo last Thursday. Mexico beat Cameroon 1-0 last Friday in Natal despite having two goals disallowed in the first half.

Now, Mexico and Brazil meet in the second group game for both in Fortaleza. A win by either side wouldn’t lock up a spot in the round of 16 unless Croatia and Cameroon draw Wednesday in Manaus. However, Mexico or Brazil would be in great  position for the knockout round.

Eleven minutes into the Brazil-Croatia match, disaster happened for the hosts as Brazilian defender Marcelo attempted to clear the ball from around Brazil’ s goal. Unfortunately, he kicked the ball and it went into his own net past keeper Julio Cesar. (A funny result of that own goal was that a European male model named Marcello received thousands of angry and derisive tweets from around the world after the goal.)

Brazil equalized 18 minutes later on the first ever World Cup goal from brilliant young striker Neymar from just inside the penalty area. Neither team would score again until the 71st minute when referees awarded Brazil a dubious penalty kick on what looked to be a flop from Fred. Neymar converted the penalty kick for his second goal of the match and gave Brazil a 2-1 lead. Neymar had injured his ankle in training earlier in the week, so fitness was a concern before the match. Neymar probably should have been issued a red card in the first half when  he threw an elbow to Croatian Luka Modric. Neymar did get a yellow card though.

In the 81st minute, Croatia had  the potential tying goal disallowed when Ivica Olic put the ball past Cesar, but the ref had already blown the whistle for a foul. Oscar added icing on the cake with a goal in stoppage time to make the final 3-1.

Brazil had 14 shots with 9 on goal. Croatia had 10 and 4. Croatia had 21 fouls to 5 for Brazil. Brazil had  possession 58% of the time. Brazil had 7 corners to 3 for Croatia.

The referees also made some questionable calls in the other Group A game as Mexico took on Cameroon in a downpour in Natal. In the 11th minute, Giovani dos Santos appeared to put Mexico up 1-0 on a cross from Hector Herrera. However, the refs disallowed it saying he was offside. Replays clearly showed he was level with the Cameroon defenders. At 30 minutes, dos Santos appeared to score again from close range after a corner that was flicked right to him from Cameroon’s Eric Choupo-Moting. However, the linesman raised the flag apparently mistakenly thinking Choupo-Moting was Mexican, despite Cameroon wearing yellow kits and Mexico wearing green. Mexico and their fans were livid, of course.

Oribe Peralta fianlly put Mexico on the board for real this time 61 minutes in on a  deflected corner kick. Cameroon had a chance to equalize in stoppage time but Benjamin Moukandjo fialed to convert a header. El Tri held on for the 1-0 win grabbed the full three points. It was the first match of the tournament that did not feature at least 3 goals, but it really should have were it not for a couple of bad calls from the refs.

Mexico had 9 shots and 5 on goal. Cameroon had 10 and 4. Cameroon had 12 fouls and Mexico had 11. Mexico had possession for 58% of the time. Cameroon had 5 corners to 2 for Mexico. Mexico was called for offsides 5 times and Cameroon was called three times.

Brazil leads the series against Mexico 22-10-6. Brazil has beaten Mexico in all three previous World Cup meetings outscoring them 11-0. Mexico did beat Brazil in the gold medal match in the 2012 Summer Olympics, but that doesn’t count in the official standings. Many of those same players are playing in this game for both sides. Brazil beat Mexico 2-0 in last year’s Confederations Cup in this same stadium. Mexico hasn’t beaten Brazil in Brazil since 1968. Brazil hasn’t lost at home in 38 matches dating back to 2002. Since 1970, Brazil is 27-1-6 in group stage games at the World Cup with the only loss coming to Norway in 1998.

Brazil is coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari. Scolari will employ a 4-2-3-1 attack. The 22 year Neymar already has 33 goals for the national team. He headlines an awesome array of stars on the front line such as Fred, Hulk, and Oscar any of whom can score at any time. Hulk is doubtful with a thigh injury. Bernard will likely replace him in the starting line-up 34 year old keeper Julio Cesar is still one of the best in the world. The back line has it’s share of stars as well including Dani Alves, David Luiz, and Thiago Silva.

Mexico is coached by Miguel Herrera. Mexico will use a 3-5-2 formation.  Mexico will only start 4 players that started for them in the 2013 Confederations Cup last year. Guillermo Ochoa will start in goal in place of Jesus Corona, despite Mexico being the goalkeeper for the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal team. Star striker Javier “Chicarito” Hernandez will also come off the bench. Juan Carlos Medina and Luis Medina were supposed to start in the midfield but both will miss the tournament with injuries. Andrés Guardado, Héctor Herrera and the inexperienced José Juan Vázquez will man the midfield.  Oribe Peralta and Giovani Dos Santos will anchor the front line. Rafael Marquez brings veteran leadership to the back line that struggled many times during qualifying.

Both teams looked a little tentative in the first game but both came away with wins. The loss of Hulk will hurt Brazil, but they have enough star power to overcome that. I think Brazil wins this game with relative ease by something like 3-1 or 2-0.

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