FIFA World Cup 2014 Predictions: Match #34 Croatia vs. Mexico

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | June 20, 2014 9:55 AM EST

Final Score

Croatia 1 Mexico 3

REUTERS/Mike Blake
Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa waves to the audience at the end of their 2014 World Cup Group A soccer match against Brazil at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, June 17, 2014.

Overview

The thirty fourth match of the FIFA World Cup 2014 is going to be held between Croatia and Mexico. The Group A match should be extremely interesting as Croatia needs to win it to qualify for the "group of 16." Additionally, either of them will have the opportunity to finish first in the group, depending on the Brazil-Cameroon match results.

Teams

Croatia: Croatia had a thumping 4-0 win against Cameroon in its last match. Even its match against Brazil showed how capable it can be even against the toughest oppositions. Croatia coach Niko Kovac said that he would want his team to have enough rest before the Mexico match. He is quite aware of what this match means to his team. Croatia can top the table with a win if Brazil loses its match against Cameroon or if the match ends in a draw. Kovac said that his team, just like Mexico, has great patriotism and team spirit. It is a "do or die" for Croatia.

Mexico: Mexico's match against Brazil was one of the most exciting matches in the tournament even though it ended in a goalless draw. A new hero was born in the form of Guillermo Ochoa. The Mexican goalkeeper saved one shot after another and adamantly refused to be defeated. His performance in the match apparently made FC Barcelona curious, according to his agent. Mexican strikers attacked Brazil goal time and again. They showed how much dangerous they are capable of being. Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari could not complain about the results of the match. Mexico may still stay in the tournament even if it loses this match. However, that will only happen if Brazil suffers a heavy defeat against Cameroon, which seems quite unlikely. That is why it must have a draw at least to proceed to the next round.

Head to Head

These two teams played 3 times against each other before. Croatia won 2, Mexico 1 and 1 ended in a draw. There were 7 goals scored, 5 by Croatia and 2 by Mexico.

Key Players

Croatia: Mario Mandžukić and Ivica Olić

 Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa and Oribe Peralta

Date, Time & Venue

Brazil's time zone is UTC/GMT -3. The match starts at 5 pm (local time) on June 23, which means it is 6 am on June 24 in New South Wales, Australia. The match will be held at Arena Pernambuco in Recife.

Prediction

Croatia will be under pressure as it knows that even a draw cannot help. Mexico will be able to defend well and win it 2-1.

Group Predictions

Group A, Group B, Group C, Group D, Group E, Group F, Group G & Group H

Reference: FIFA

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake / )
Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa waves to the audience at the end of their 2014 World Cup Group A soccer match against Brazil at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, June 17, 2014.
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