World Cup 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014 at 21:00 GMT (17:00 Local time)
Arena Pernambuco, Recife
Croatia vs Mexico Preview
This is probably the toughest match of the third round in all groups of the World Cup, because these teams are two a very high quality opponents which have to decide which one of them goes on. Only the win leads Croatia into the next round, while Mexico would be satisfied with a draw because they have one point more than Croats.
Croatia has a great team, composed of players from the strongest European clubs, who have the experience of playing strong games. The defeat against Brazil, however, was expected, although the Croatian team showed strong resistance, and Brazilians were lucky at some point. Although Croatian head coach has accused the referees of that match that they have damaged his team, that was not the reason of defeat, because defense of Croatian team had poor reactions when receiving goals. If the coach Kovac does not see a problem in that, but in the referees, his team will have troubles in the third game, since Mexico has dangerous attackers, who are more aggressive than the Brazilian. Therefore, Croatia will have to pay more attention to the middle of the field in order to strengthen its defense, waiting for a chance to score through counter-attack or interruption, so we can expect a change in the starting line-up.
Probable line-up of Croatia (4-2-3-1): Pletikosa – Srna, Corluka, Lovren, Pranjic –Vukojevic, Modric – Olic, Rakitic, Perisic – Mandzukic
Mexico has shown strength in both previous matches. Although they played in difficult weather conditions and were severely damaged by the decisions of the referees who cancelled their two regular goals, they found the strength to score the third one and win so very important points. Dos Santos and Peralta have been a constant threat to the goal, and we should not forget that Hernandez, who is perhaps the most dangerous player of Mexico, sits on the bench. It talks that coach Herrera prefers firmer middle row and defense, so it would be illusory to expect an offensive approach of Mexico in this game, especially considering the fact that a draw is satisfactory result for them.
Probable line-up of Mexico (4-2-3-1): Ochoa – Rodriguez, Marquez, Moreno – Vasquez – Aguilar, Herrera, Guardado, Layun – dos Santos, Peralta
Croatia vs Mexico Prediction
Only one mistake can be fatal, so protection of own goal with lurking big mistake of opponents will probably be primary aim of both teams. With such an approach I do not expect a large number of goals. Under 2.5 Goals.