The Netherlands are set to face Mexico in Fortaleza hoping to extend their winning streak, but the Mexicans have shown enough at this tournament that it might not be straight forward for the Europeans.
The Oranje are not short of confidence as they annihilated title holders Spain with a score of 5-1 and also picked up wins against Australia and Chile. Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal is fortunate enough to have the team’s all-time top scorer Robin van Persie back after suspension, but will probably be missing the services of Feyenord defender Bruno Martins Indi who is still recovering from a mild concussion suffered against the Aussies.
Mexico managed to beat Cameroon after having two goals disallowed, picked up a draw against hosts Brazil and destroyed Croatia in the closing group match so come into this game with belief.
El Tri manager Miguel Herrera will not have midfielder Jose Juan Vasquez at his disposal due to suspension and so former Fulham player Carlos Salcido is expected to take his place.
Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez is almost certainly starting from the bench again as Oribe Peralta and former Tottenham Hotspur man Giovani dos Santos have created a very strong duo up front.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 5pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Netherlands 2 (van Persie 2) Mexico 1 (Hernandez), International Friendly, May 2010
Netherlands 2 (Heitinga, Babel) Mexico 1 (Borgetti), International Friendly, June 2006
Netherlands 2 (Cocu, R. de Boer) Mexico 2 (Pelaez, Hernandez), World Cup, June 1998
Mexico have never beaten the Netherlands.
The Oranje have picked up nine points in the group stage for the second World Cup in a row and have not lost in the first round since 1994.
The Dutch are one of four teams to have qualified with three wins. The other nations are Colombia, Argentina and Belgium.
Mexico have won eight out of 31 World Cup matches against European teams, which is equal to 26 per cent of the matches.
The Mexicans won their final group match last Monday for the first time since 1986.
Netherlands to win: 2.08
Mexico to win: 4.1
Draw after 90 minutes: 3.55
TV: Live on ITV at 5pm
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