Croatia can edge out the plucky Mexicans.
Mexico goalkeeper Francisco Ochoa, who will be looking for a new club when he returns home, had the game of his life against Brazil in Fortaleza to earn his team a share of the spoils with the hosts.
Miguel Herrara’s team have yet to concede a goal in the finals so far and another clean sheet, which we’ve priced up at 21/10, against Croatia would be enough to put them through to the last 16.
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It was a topsy-turvy qualifying campaign for the Mexicans but they’ve certainly come good since arriving in Brazil. They don’t score many goals but are a skilful outfit and very good when not in possession, denying the opposition space inside their half.
This tournament will be the swansong of veteran captain Rafael Marquez but the former Monaco and Barcelona defender is enjoying every moment and his willingness to put his ageing bones on the line every time he crosses the white line is inspiring his younger team-mates.
They’ll make Croatia work hard for victory but Luka Modric and his team-mates can still feel aggrieved that they haven’t got more than three points so far. They were more than a match for Brazil in their opener only to fall foul of some eccentric refereeing.
They certainly took their frustrations out on hapless Cameroon, scoring four times. Mario Mandzukic netted twice, and having being suspended for their game against Brazil, should still have the hunger for more. He has a better than one in two scoring rate for Bayern Munich and is 5/1 to get the first goal against Mexico while Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez is 7/1, though hasn’t started either of his team’s games so far.
Mexico will undoubtedly try to frustrate the Croatians, who must win if they are progress if you take the view that Brazil will prove too strong for Cameroon. They have the quality to do just that at 7/5, though it would be a shame to see the plucky Mexicans go home early.
The match kicks off at 9pm UK time on Monday June 23rd at the Arena Pernambuco, Recife.