Mexico will be facing the Netherlands in their World Cup Round of 16 clash on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. EDT. They are by no means favorites to win the match against the 2010 finalists, but they are more than capable of causing an upset.
The 5-3-2 formation has proven to be very useful against all three of Mexico’s previous opponents in the group stage. The wingbacks — Miguel Layun and Paul Aguilar — have sprinted up and down the field to do both jobs, on and off the ball. Their contributions to the team have allowed them to remain undefeated thus far into the tournament. The team is coming off of an impressive 4-1 thrashing over Croatia.
The Netherlands not only went unbeaten in their group, but they won all three matches in convincing fashion. They have played a similar style of the 5-3-2 and have been able to hit hard on the counter and defend with ease and success. Their best start has been one other than Arjen Robben with their best asset off the bench being Memphis Depay, who has two goals in short minutes. Robin van Persie has been their main option up top.
Sunday’s game is going to be epic, as neither side will underestimate the other. The Netherlands are the heavy favorites, but Mexico has been playing some brilliant soccer as of late and could have even defeated the hosts, Brazil, in a game that ended in a scoreless draw. Neither side is afraid of any opponent and knows how to control the game. They will depend on tactics, physical ability and outsmarting their opponents whenever possible.
Prediction: Netherlands 2, Mexico 1
The Netherlands will make good of some of their chances while they will have more than a few scares against a Mexican side that can only conjure up one goal.