Producer - Radio TAB TattsBet Brekky Program @RadioTABAus
Hosted by John McCoy, Peter Psaltis @peterp79 Paul Sawtell
(5am-8am Mon-Fri AEST)
(5am-7am Sat & Sun AEST)
Football writer/contributor for:
telegraph.co.uk "World Cup Nation"
ABC Grandstand Online
Proud member of Football Media Association Australia @FMA_AUS
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
World Cup Group A preview: Brazil v Mexico
Host nation and World Cup favourites Brazil take on Mexico in their second Group A
match kicking-off at a more fan-friendly viewing time tomorrow morning, June
18, from 5am (AEST).
Head to head
The teams have met on a total of
38 occasions with the ledger firmly in favour of the Selecao with 22 wins. Mexico has 10
wins and there has been 6 draws. Mexico
has only ever beaten Brazil
once on their home soil in a friendly way back in 1968 (2-1).
On paper Brazil looks
the better team with attacking options littered across the park. Another shaky
start against Mexico
will be a worrying sign for Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari as he looks to secure top
spot in the group and put the nation at ease.
Mexico seemingly had a much
smoother start with a comfortable win against Cameroon in very damp conditions
and will be hoping to hone their effective ‘play the ball out from the back’
If given too much width or space
their deadly counter attacking brand could pay dividends. That being said,
execution and mistake free football will be paramount if they are to avoid
being on the receiving end of a punishing football master class led by Neymar
Jnr and his band of merry men.
The big Issue
The issue has always been what Mexico team
turns up. Their inconsistency in tournaments swings from the sublime to just
plain average. If Brazil is
clinical the scoreboard attendants could be in for a very busy night with the
Neymar, Oscar and Fred show taking to the stage in Fortaleza. Restricting soft turnovers and
taking advantage of limited chances in the attacking half will be a key if Mexico is to
cause a boilover.
Already being blessed with so
many wonderful football contests in less than a week, the entertainment value
should prove no different. This is a must watch game if not for the fan
atmosphere alone.It is the type of
match-up that if played in slow motion could somehow appear at normal speed.
For the winner will go the spoils
and whoever succeeds in the battle will be assured of their place in the
knockout round if the Croatia
clash ends in a stalemate.
The game breaker
Mexican Giovanni Dos Santos was
dangerous with every run against Cameroon, but his eagerness and
timing will need to be measured inch perfect if he is to avoid the scrutiny of
the sideline officials.
A hamstring injury cloud
continues to hover above key forward Hulk, and his mobility and speed could
effectiveness in attack. It will be interesting if Scolari risks him in such an
important match in favour of employing his potential arsenal as they move
deeper into the round of 16. If the star is absent in favour of Ramires, then
look for a very “Hulk Mad” performance when he next takes to the pitch.
The Mexicans always have the
‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character to cause an upset and have done so as recently as
the Olympic final in London two years ago when
they defeated Brazil
2-1 to claim gold.
History can always be important
in predicting the future but I think that Brazil,
together with the goal friendly ‘Brazuca’ ball, will continue to find the
netting in a measured victory over a spirited and vastly improving Mexico