Netherlands and Mexico will do battle with the two teams slated to meet at the Round of 16 in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2014 on Sunday, June 29. The big match will be played at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Netherlands have progressed into the second round following three wins out of three in the Group stage. The Dutch started with a bang as they humiliated reigning champions Spain before winning 3-2 in a hard fought battle against Australia, and followed it up with a 2-0 win over Chile in their final Group game.
Mexico, on the other hand, beat Cameroon 1-0 in their opening game while managing to hold Brazil to a goalless draw in their second match. In their third and most crucial game in the Group, the Mexicans ran riot over Croatia, beating the Europeans by a convincing 3-1 score-line.
The Dutch will have their talismanic skipper Robin Van Persie back in the lineup after he served a yellow card ban against Chile. Van Persie has three goals in two games for the Oranje in the ongoing edition of the world cup while Arjen Robben has also scored three goals so far as the duo have formed one of the most effective attacking partnerships in the World Cup so far.
Louis Van Gaal can be expected to revert to a 5-3-2 formation against the Mexicans who have good attacking players. Van Gaal already possesses great steel in defensive and central midfield with the likes of Nigel De Jong and Jonathan De Guzman in the lineup while Wesley Sneijder can be expected to fire from his advanced position in midfield.
Mexico will look to start with Oribe Peralta and Javier Hernandez against the Dutch as the side from the America’s look to make it into the quarters. The Mexicans have been quite excellent defensively, having conceded only once in the Group stage in their final game versus Croatia.
Hector Moreno and company have done a great job at the back while goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa had been instrumental against Brazil as the Mexicans held out against the hosts. The likes of Andres Guardado and Jose Vasquez will need to step up against the Netherlands and look to create more clear-cut openings for their strikers as the Dutch have a great team for Sunday’s match.
Netherlands also have a recent historical advantage over the Mexicans as the former have been challenging for top honours in Euros and the World Cup for a good deal of time now. Many feel that the Oranje are the team to beat in this edition of the World Cup and Mexico will hope that they are the team who do it on Sunday.