Five-time champion Brazil take on a dangerous Mexico in the Round of 16

BRAZIL coach Tite made only one change from the starting line-up that beat Serbia 2-0 in their final group game with Filipe Luis stepping in to replace injured midfielder Marcelo for the World Cup last 16 clash against Mexico.

Despite a shaky start, Brazil are on track to win a record sixth World Cup and Tite is taking no chances against a Mexico side showing real promise on their march to a seventh consecutive place in the last 16.

Luis, of Atletico Madrid, steps in to replace Marcelo in the defensive midfield position after the Real Madrid player was forced off against Serbia with back spasms.

Otherwise Brazil are unchanged, Manchester City striker Gabriel leading their attack in front of Willian, Philippe Coutinho and Neymar.

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Jesus, 21, has yet to score on his World Cup debut.

Brazil keen to stay in Russia

Brazil keen to stay in Russia

0:54

STARTING XIs: Brazil v Mexico

Brazil (4-2-3-1) Alisson; Fagner, Thiago Silva, Joao Miranda (capt), Filipe Luis; Paulinho, Casemiro; Willian, Philippe Coutinho, Neymar; Gabriel Jesus

Mexico (4-3-3) Guillermo Ochoa; Jesus Gallardo, Hugo Ayala, Carlos Salcedo, Edson Alvarez; Rafael Marquez, Andres Guardado, Hector Herrera; Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano

The match starts at midnight AEST. Follow in the live blog below

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio, meanwhile, made only two changes to the side that suffered a 3-0 defeat to Sweden in their final match, giving 39-year-old Rafael Marquez his first start of this World Cup.

Marquez taking the captain’s armband back from Real Betis midfielder Andres Guardado.

Mexico’s only other change from the Sweden defeat, which came after a stunning 1-0 defeat of Germany and a 2-1 win over South Korea, sees Tigres defender Hugo Alaya stepping in for the suspended Hector Moreno.

Mexico have never beaten Brazil at the World Cup. Indeed the last non-European team to beat Brazil was Argentina in the 1990 round of 16.

In their four previous World Cup matches with Mexico, Brazil have never conceded a goal against El Tri, outscoring them 11-0 in those encounters.

Brazil’s star-studded team.
Brazil’s star-studded team.Source: AFP

“Each and every one of their players can control the ball and pass the ball very well. They behave like a unit.

“This will be a great opportunity for Mexican football to face the best team on the planet and we will have to play to our full potential.”

Osorio believes the best way to counter the Brazilian threat is to attack them.

“I think that defending with an odd number of defenders and wing backs is an option but our footballing style has to do more with creating defensive problems in the opposition line,” he said.

“So we never give up on attacking. Regardless of the structure we will have tomorrow we will always have a line-up with five attacking players. Or four pure attackers and two false nines like Hector (Herrera).

“All our midfield players are capable of attacking and creating opportunities.”

— AFP

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