- Venue: Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza
- Date: Tuesday 17 June
- Kick-off: 7pm
Brazil forward Hulk is a doubt to face Mexico after missing training on Monday because of pain in his left thigh.
Ramires is thought most likely to deputise if Hulk is not risked, which could mean a switch to 4-3-3 to try and counteract Mexico’s wing backs.
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera says he will field an unchanged line-up in an attacking 5-3-2 formation.
Javier Hernandez, Mexico’s third highest scorer of all time, is again expected to be among the substitutes.
Brazil’s national football team seldom lack buoyancy but they have been repeatedly sunk by Mexican waves in recent year.
No team has beaten Brazil in the 21st century as often as Mexico, who have managed six wins and two draws in 12 meetings during that period. The Mexicans also won the last meeting of the 20th century, in the 1999 Confederations Cup final.
But it was the 2012 Olympic final defeat that hurts Brazil the most, even though it was not a recognised senior international. Oscar, one of five first-team regulars for Brazil who played in that final, admits: “Of course I was very sad. It is a medal that Brazil have never won and we lost the final.
“We know that Mexico are a good team, they always give Brazil a hard time and it won’t be any different when we play in the next match. They play the ball out from the back well and are very good on the counter-attack.”
Brazil actually won 2-0 in the most recent encounter a year ago this week in a Confederations Cup group game at the same venue in Fortaleza.
Having both won their opening games, the winner of Tuesday’s match will be on the cusp of qualification for the knockout stage. Mexico captain Rafael Marquez knows that keeping World Cup poster boy Neymar will be key to causing an upset.
“We have to cover, have two against one, be fast and reduce the spaces on the pitch and not let him (Neymar) play,” Marquez said. “We know the talent of Neymar, Oscar, Hulk but we will train in ways to handle them. We have to make the most of this opportunity – it is a showcase for all of us.”
- Brazil have won all three previous meetings in the World Cup without conceding a goal: 4-0 in 1950, 5-0 in 1954 and 2-0 in 1962.
- Brazil and Mexico last met in the 2013 Confederations Cup, at the same venue as this game on 19 June. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side won 2-0 thanks to goals from Neymar and Jo.
- However, Mexico have won seven of the last 13 meetings (D2, L4) over the last 15 years – the most of any nation against Brazil during that period.
- Mexico have only beaten the Selecao once on Brazilian soil: 2-1 in a friendly on 31 October 1968.
- Scolari has faced Mexico once before at the World Cup, when his Portugal side won 2-1 in a group game in 2006.
- Brazil have won their last 10 matches, scoring 33 goals and conceding only three.
- They are now unbeaten in 38 successive matches on home soil, with their last defeat coming against Paraguay in August 2002.
- Neymar has scored 33 goals in only 50 appearances for Brazil and is already joint-seventh in the national team’s list of all-time goalscorers. He has scored 24 goals in his last 29 international appearances.
- Mexico have qualified for the last 16 in five successive World Cups, only to be knocked out at that stage on each occasion.
- They have won six and lost only two of their 10 matches under Miguel Herrera.
- Oribe Peralta has scored nine goals in his last seven competitive appearances for Mexico, including the winner in the opening group stage game of this tournament. By BBC