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Brazil vs Mexico Preview

It’s crunch time for Mexico tomorrow as they strive for the win they need to have a realistic chance of progressing to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. Just one problem. They need to beat Brazil.

Historically, that’s not something that has phased the Central American side as much as it has others. Recent head-to-heads are encouraging for Mexico, too – they beat Brazil in a Texas friendly the last time they met in a full International and also overcame a young Samba Boys outfit for Olympic gold in London last summer.

But this is different. This is the full Brazil squad and they are treating this Cup campaign as much more than just a dress rehearsal for next year’s World Cup. Coral go 4/11 a ‘home’ victory, 8/1 Mexico and 7/2 the draw.

Mexico have Manchester United’s prolific striker Javier Hernadez up front, but their record betrays an unadventurous approach. They ran up an astonishing sequence of eight draws (five goalless) in nine 2013 fixtures leading up to this tournament, their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Italy in the group opener a relative goal-fest. Hernandez has scored five of Mexico’s seven goals this year and if El Tri do find the net tomorrow it is more likely to be down to Chicharito – Coral go 15/8 he scores at any time during the match.

Brazil are now moving through the gears following a stale period and though they didn’t impress everyone when beating Japan 3-0 in the tournament curtain-raiser last Saturday, they did show enough to suggest they will be the main threats to Spain by the end of the fortnight.

Neymar’s opening goal, scored after just three minutes, was sensational and will have had Barcelona fans purring in anticipation of what’s to come from their new boy. There’s a lot of hype surrounding the young striker, but Brazil manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, is convinced he will live up to it.

Coral make Neymar 9/2 favourite to be the tournament’s leading scorer, but Brazil are by no means a one-man strikeforce and we can expect further contributions from Jo (12/1) and Paulinho (20/1), both also on the mark against Japan, as well as from Fred (16/1), Hulk (20/1) and a few more besides.

Hernandez would also make appeal at 16/1 were it not for the likelihood that Mexico will be eliminated at this group stage.

Scolari is happy with the way his team are progressing and is promising great things for this new generation once they have a chance to gel together and fulfil their potential. Coral expect them to prove too strong for Mexico tomorrow – 2-0 (6/1) and 3-0 (9/1) are quite likely outcomes – and make them 6/4 second favourites behind Spain (5/4) to go on and win the Cup.

Written by Jon Freeman