Brazil came through Group E unscathed having won two of their three unbeaten matches. Mexico, on the other hand, would have been the first side ever (since it changed to two sides qualifying form the group) not to have progressed to the second round having won their first two games, but South Korea’s unlikely defeat of Germany spared their blushes. They’ve now failed to score in four of their last seven matches, but a generally stubborn defence has meant at least one side has failed to score in nine of their last 10. Brazil have been dominant with both Miranda and Thiago Silva at the back and they’ve kept a clean sheet in 10 of their last 11 unbeaten matches they’ve both started, conceding just once across them.
Tite’s men were the form team coming into this tournament and after topping their group they’ve maintained their tournament favourites tag. They’ve now won 19 of their 24 matches since the Copa America in 2016, winning to nil in 15 of these, while against CONCACAF nations they’ve won 10 of their last 11 unbeaten matches since the start of 2013, with eight also without conceding. What’s more, Mexico have lost seven of their last 12 against South American opposition in major tournaments, including a 7-0 thumping in their last one of these to Chile in 2016.
The Mexicans lost 3-0 last time, but we expect this game to be a little tighter given it’s knockout football. Indeed, 72% of Last 16 encounters at World Cups since 2002 have had fewer than three strikes and with that in mind, we like the 2-0 correct score as Brazil have won by that scorleine twice in this tournament already as well as in two of their last three meetings with Mexico.