|World Cup 2014|
ScheduleMonday, 23 June 2014 at 20:00 GMT / 21:00 UK / 01:30 IST
VenueArena Pernambuco (Recife)
Next Monday, Croatia will take on Mexico at the beautiful Arena Pernambuco in Recife on a match that will grant a ticket to the next stage of the tournament to one of the teams.
After a controversial defeat against the hosts, Brazil, for the opening match of the competition, the Croatian team lift their heads up and reduced a poorly organized Cameroonian side to dust, with four goals without response. The Balkanic team put up a quality performance and not even the fact of Cameroon being reduced to ten men for a greater part of the match refrain the Croatian enthusiasm, who had a very professional attitude throughout the entire game and built a solid 4-0 win.
The Croatian head coach, Niko Kovac, implemented some changes in his team for the match against the African team, since he was already able to count on the contribution of Mario Mandzukic, who played a major role in the match, and of the versatile left back, Danijel Pranjic.
For the important match against Mexico, Niko Kovac might perform at least one change in his team: promoting the return of Inter Milan’s young talented midfielder Kovacic to replace Sammir, who made only a modest contribution to his team’s game against Cameroon.
As for Mexico, whether they win or draw the match against Croatia, they will automatically grant a place at the next stage of the competition.
After beating Cameroon on their World Cup’s first clash, Mexico managed to obtain a draw against the all-powerful Brazil last Tuesday. The Mexican team presented a solid performance against the home side and proved that they are definitely no pushovers in this tournament. The Tricolor’s manager Miguel Herrera remained faithful to his 5-3-2 approach with Rafa Márquez acting as an old-school libero and he is already harvesting the profits of his work at the helm of the Mexican team.
For the match against Croatia, Miguel Herrera will probably not implement any major changes in his team since there aren’t any injured or suspended players currently.
Croatia and Mexico will certainly produce a very entertaining and close match and due to that it is pretty difficult to consider any of the teams favourites for next Monday’s clash. Although, and due to team’s recent defensive consistency, Mexico might enjoy a slight advantage to win the match.
Stats: W-3 L-1 D-1
Recent Form - WLWWD
Stats: W-2 L-2 D-1
Recent Form - DWLLW
Croatia (4-2-3-1) - Pletikosa - Srna - Corluka - Lovren - Pranjc - Modric - Rakitic - Perisic - Kovacic - Olic - Mandzukic
Mexico (5-3-2) - Ochoa - Layun - Moreno - Aguilar - Marquez - Rodriguez - Herrera - Vázquez - Guardado - Gio dos Santos - Peralta