Brazil will face Mexico on Monday at Cosmos Arena within the 2018 World Cup’s round of 16. It will be a special South American encounter, promising an interesting performance from both teams.
Brazil qualified for the round of 16 after leading Group E with seven points, gained from two wins and a draw. The Samba Kings scored four goals and conceded one during the group stage.
Mexico reached the second stage after two wins and one loss in Group F. They scored three goals and conceded four.
Brazil has a star-studded team led by Neymar da Silva, the world’s most expensive player, Real Madrid’s Marcelo Vieira, and Carlos Casemiro, and Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho and José Paulo Bezerra Maciel Júnior, commonly known as Paulinho.
Brazil seeks to continue its strong start in the 2018 World Cup and compensate for their bad performance in the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil.
The Samba Kings’ group stage run was not difficult, and they achieved good results, making them one of the leading candidates for the World Cup title.
Mexico had a very strong start when they defeated the 2014 title holders, Germany, in their first group stage. El Tri seek to continue their outstanding World Cup results and qualify to the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Mexico has a number of young talented players led by Javier Hernandez, a former Real Madrid and Manchester United player.
Mexico has a unique World Cup history, with 14 previous appearances.
The round of 16 will also witness another strong clash, between Belgium and Japan, at Rostov Arena.
Belgium qualified for the round of 16 after topping Group G with nine points, collected from beating England, Tunisia, and Panama. They scored nine goals, making them the strongest forward line in the group stage, while they conceded only two goals. Belgium has reached the knockout stages of the World Cup for the sixth time in their last seven participations, and they will be looking to reach the quarter-finals for the third time in their history, having done so in 1986 and 2014.
The Belgian team will be heavy favourites against Japan. They have first-class players who can make the difference in such important occasions, including Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.
Japan came in second place in Group H with four points gained from one win, one draw, and one loss. They became the only Asian team to qualify for the World Cup’s round of 16, as well as the first team ever to progress, thanks to FIFA’s new disciplinary tie-breaker rule. Moreover, Japan made it through Group H in second place, thanks to their players having been shown fewer yellow cards than the Senegal, who were eliminated instead, ensuring that there will be no African representatives in the knockout phase.
Belgium has won only one of their five encounters with Japan, although that came in their last friendly game in November 2017.