Brazil v Mexico preview: Filipe Luis to start for Brazil in Samara
Five-time winners Brazil face Mexico in the World Cup last 16 in Samara on Monday
Last Updated: 02/07/18 3:04pm
Filipe Luis will start for Brazil after left-back Marcelo suffered a back spasm in the win over Serbia on Wednesday.
After finishing top of Group E following a slow start, five-time winners Brazil are now looking to reach the last eight for the seventh straight World Cup.
Neymar has scored just once in the opening three games, but Brazil coach Tite is delighted with the Paris Saint-Germain forward's influence having fought back from a lengthy foot injury in the spring.
Tite said: "He played very, very well against Serbia. I told him that: 'We know the price you have paid to climb back to this level'. He did everything we asked tactically, defending the full-back, and looked for goal, to dribble, and run with the ball."
Mexico, who will co-host the tournament with USA and Canada in 2026, are looking to reach the last eight for the first time since hosting in 1986, and impressed in the group stage with a famous victory over Germany.
In his pre-match press conference, coach Juan Carlos Osorio stated that his team will attack Brazil. "We won't sit back and wait, Brazil's attackers are too good for that to be the right plan. We will stick to our idea of having at least four or five attacking players."
Marcelo did train on Sunday and could be available from the bench, and though Danilo has recovered from a thigh problem, Fagner may keep his spot at right-back.
Mexico are without suspended centre-back Hector Moreno after accumulating two yellow cards, meaning Hugo Ayala could replace him.
- Brazil and Mexico have met 40 times previously, with over half of those encounters ending in wins for Brazil (W23 D7 L10).
- Mexico have won none of their four previous games against Brazil at the World Cup (D1 L3). In fact, the Mexicans haven't even scored a single goal in those four matches (11 conceded).
- This will be the fifth encounter between Brazil and Mexico at the World Cup. Only three fixtures have been played on more occasions in the competition (Brazil v Sweden 7 times; Argentina v Germany 7 times: and Germany v Yugoslavia 6 times each).
- Brazil last failed to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup back in 1990. Since then, they've always made it to the last eight of the tournament.
- Brazil will be looking to win their third game in a row at the World Cup which hasn't happened since the 2006 edition.
- Brazil are unbeaten in their last 14 games (W10 D4), with their last defeat dating back to June 2017 against Argentina (0-1).
- Mexico have been knocked out in the round of 16 in each of their last six World Cup appearances. In fact, they've never progressed further than the second round when playing a World Cup outside their own borders.
Paul Merson: I think Brazil are still in second gear. When the confidence is up they've shown glimpses of playing the Samba way but at other times they've been average. Against Mexico, I think they need to get in front. Brazil will play in a similar style to Germany but let's look at where Germany are now, they are at home. Mexico beat a very poor Germany side before being ripped to pieces by Sweden.
We know what the pattern of this game will be. Mexico will look to have some success on the counter-attack but Brazil have much more quality than Germany did. I don't see anything but a Brazil win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (11/2 with Sky Bet)
Charlie Nicholas: This tie is a very good looking game. With Brazil there are little spells of flamboyancy but there are spells where you can really get at them defensively. People say you need physicality to beat Brazil but this side is pretty good at dealing with that.
What you can do is get at them on the counter-attack and this is what Mexico are good at. I see this being another absorbing game and I do see Brazil wrapping this up fairly comfortably. I'm backing Gabriel Jesus to stand up and deliver for Brazil.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 3-1 (12/1 with Sky Bet)