Netherlands vs. Mexico: Form Guide, Live Stream, Prediction for 2014 World Cup

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Netherlands vs. Mexico: Form Guide, Live Stream, Prediction for 2014 World Cup
Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Fortaleza will play host to one of the most enticing fixtures in the World Cup round of 16, where the Netherlands take on Mexico in an evident clash of styles.

El Tri made their way through the group stage largely by confounding their opponents defensively, basing their play around a rigid structure that the Dutch will combat with a much more open and honest approach.

Ahead of the clash at the Estadio Castelao, read on for all vital viewing information, along with form guide and prediction of who will be emerging from this matchup as World Cup quarter-finalists.

 

Date: Sunday, June 29

Time: 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET

Live Stream: ITV Player (UK), ESPN Watch (U.S., subscription required)

TV Info: ITV (UK), ESPN (U.S.)

 

Form Guide 

Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press

Despite the patient, counter-based strategy often used by Miguel Herrera's side of late, Mexico showed in their final group game, a 3-1 win over Croatia, just how capable they are of opening a side when it's needed.

Admittedly, a 10-minute, three-goal haul in the dying phases of the fixture proved more tense than they might have wanted, but this same stamina will be vital against the Oranje, who are bound to launch numerous assaults on the Central Americans' back line.

Squawka attests to just how impressive the Mexicans have been in their stingy defence:

And the Netherlands played a similar part against Chile in their most recent outing, waiting until the 77th minute before making their breakthrough en route to a 2-0 triumph, despite only needing a draw to top Group B.

One area that is in need of improvement for the Europeans, however, is at the set piece, according to Outside 90:

Louis van Gaal's outfit have lost just one game since August 2012, while Mexico's improvements under Herrera are an ongoing project—El Tri have lost twice already in 2014, but they did manage two clean sheets in their group campaign.

 

Prediction

Wong Maye-E/Associated Press

As was the case in their 0-0 stalemate against Brazil a fortnight ago, Mexico head into this fixture as underdogs, but by no means is a surprise win for El Tri being ruled out.

That being said, a drawn-out, end-to-end affair seems inevitable. Mexico will be the likely resistance, repelling the threat of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder in whatever way they can.

Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand agrees with such logic, predicting that penalties will be how this tie is decided:

It may not get to that stage, but to see the fixture go beyond 90 minutes wouldn't be a shock. The Netherlands have so much attacking firepower that their scoring in normal time is probable, but Mexico have the attacking figures necessary to net themselves, albeit not many.

The CONCACAF qualifiers may have an advantage in being more accustomed to the Brazilian conditions, but Van Gaal's men will ultimately be too strong to withstand, and a heartbreaking, extra-time defeat for Herrera could well be on the cards.

Prediction: Netherlands 2-1 Mexico AET

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