The final round of group stage matches is upon us for Group A. While Cameroon is already eliminated, the remaining spots are still up for grabs. The remaining three teams do have their fates in their own hands. A win for Brazil, Mexico, or Croatia will see them advance.
Cameroon v Brazil – Monday, June 23 @ 4pm:
Cameroon are out of the 2014 World Cup, but they could provide an upset that could then result in Brazil being knocked out. This does seem highly unlikely considering the fact that they have yet to score a goal and have allowed 5.
Brazil had their chances against Mexico, but came up against one of the all-time best World Cup goalkeeping performances. They should be able to fare better against this struggling Cameroon team.
My prediction is a Brazil win, which would be enough to see them through to the knockout rounds. Hulk is still questionable and will most likely stay on the bench, unless needed late on. Cameroon will be without Alex Song, due to his red card, and their captain and striker Samuel Eto’o is still doubtful.
Croatia v Mexico – Monday, June 23 @ 4pm:
Croatia needs a win to ensure they progress. While it is possible for them to move on with a draw, this would be relying on Brazil to lose to Cameroon. For Mexico, a draw will be enough to see them get into the knockout rounds.
This is going to be a battle for both teams. It will be interesting to see if Mexico go out and play for the win, or if they will be content to get a draw. Croatia will certainly be going all out, which could benefit Mexico and their quick front line.
While I believe that Croatia is the better team here and have the edge, the fact that they have to chase a win in this one means that they are more level with Mexico. My prediction, in the end, is a draw.