Mexico will test the Dutch in the heat of Fortaleza.
The Netherlands have been the team to watch in this World Cup if you want to see goals. There were six scored in their opening game and five in their second.
The Oranje only managed two against Chile but were missing the suspended Robin van Persie, who will be back in harness against Mexico. Arjen Robben has also been in excellent form and the Dutch attack with real pace when they win possession.
It was too much for Spain and Australia, though Louis van Gaal’s team haven’t been entirely convincing in defence and the Mexicans will certainly have seen enough to give them hope they can reach the last eight if they can stem the Orange tide, though it’s been a step too far in every tournament since they were hosts in 1986 even though they’ve regularly reached the knockout stages.
Five places currently separate the teams in the latest FIFA rankings and both sides are undefeated so far in the finals. This match promises to be as close as those rankings suggest and it might even need extra time or penalties to find a winner.
The draw certainly looks tempting at 23/10 and likewise Mexico at 3/4 with a goal start on the handicap. The countries have only met once before at a World Cup, in 1998, and that game ended all-square.
Mexico have only conceded one goal so far in the tournament and that was against Croatia when the game was already won. Part of the reason for that has been the superb form of goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, though veteran Rafael Marquez has also been a factor in a holding role in front of the back four and he also popped up with a vital goal against Croatia.
With a lunchtime kick-off in Fortaleza probably in their favour, the Mexicans will make it very tough for the Dutch in the last 16 if they can close down Robben and van Persie.
The match kicks off at 5pm UK time on Sunday June 29th at the Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza.