In what many expect to be one of the matches of the weekend, Mexico takes on Netherlands in Fortaleza today. It’s a Noon ET/9am PT kick-off.
Where to watch -
Viewers from USA can tune in to these following for the 12 PM EST/9 AM PST kick off
Pedro Proenca (Portugal)
Starting line-ups -
Holland: Cillessen, Verhaegh, Kuyt, Vlaar, De Vrij, Blind, De Jong, Wijnaldum, Sneijder. Van Persie, Robben
Mexico: Ochoa, Rodriguez, Salcido, Marquez, Herrera, Layun, Dos Santos, Moreno, Guardado, Peralta, Aguilar
The Dutch’s clean sweep in the group stages sees them come into today’s game brimming with confidence against Mexico, who finished as runners-up in their Group. They dispatched big names like Spain and Chile earlier in the competition, and will be hoping that the Mexican team will be a relatively easier test.
The Group A runners-up behind Brazil would be unnerved by the Dutchmen, as they themselves are coming into this game on the back of a solid 3-1 win against Croatia in their final group match. More of the same from them could pose some problems for Netherlands.
Looking at Mexico’s performances in the group stages, they boast a higher passing game than Netherlands (307 successful passes to 246 for the Dutch, and 81% of passes completed against Netherlands’ 77%).
However, Louis van Gaal’s men are way ahead where it matters. They create nearly 10 chances per game, while Mexico create just 8, while at the same time have averaged over 3 goals per game, which beats Mexico’s average of over 1 goal/game.
Mexico’s shooting accuracy lags at a dismal 36% compared to Netherlands’ 68%. This is something which needs to be worked on in order to improve their offensive record.
Players to watch out for -
Captain Robin van Persie serves his one match suspension and is now back to lead the Oranje today. He has been on song so far, and will pose a serious threat to the Mexican defense, and to goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, whose heroics against Brazil have made him an instant household name.
While on the other hand, it is his Manchester United team-mate Javier Hernandez who could upset the Dutch. He scored in Mexico’s 3-1 win against Croatia and would be looking to find the back of the net once again.
Mexico have done well to reach the Round of 16 in the tournament, but they come up against a Dutch competition who have simply grown in confidence with every passing game. I expect the Dutch challenge to be a bit too much for Mexico to deal with today. I see Netherlands progress to the quarter-finals.
Netherlands 3-1 Mexico.
Tell us who do you think will stand out today in the ‘Comments’ section below.