sport

Brazil v Mexico preview

Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari is waiting on the fitness of Hulk, but could name an unchanged side for Tuesday's World Cup Group A clash with Mexico (8pm).

The Zenit St Petersburg forward picked up a knock in a training game and sat out the remainder of the session.

Hulk, who was replaced by Bernard just after the hour mark in the opening 3-1 win over Croatia, appeared to be suffering from a hamstring problem, but did confirm he would be travelling with the rest of the squad north to Fortaleza.

If Hulk is fit, then Scolari is set to name the same line-up that started the opening Group A win in Sao Paulo, but if the 27-year-old fails to make it then Bernard or Willian could get their first start of the tournament.

Brazil playmaker Oscar will be hopeful of using recent experiences of facing Mexico to plot their downfall in Fortaleza.

The 22-year-old Chelsea star knows plenty about the upcoming opponents having lined up against Mexico twice in the last two years, suffering heartbreak in an Olympic final defeat and retribution as a Neymar-inspired Brazil won 2-0 in a Confederations Cup group game 12 months ago.

Now Oscar, who drew many plaudits for display on Thursday night, will use the contrasting recent memories as he looks to help guide Brazil closer to a place in the knockout stages.

"Of course I was very sad (after the Olympic defeat)," he said.

"It is a medal that Brazil have never won and we lost the final. Mexico are a very good team. It will certainly be as difficult as last year. In the World Cup there is an extra desire to win and I hope we can do so again this time.

"Mexico are a very different side to Croatia. They play the ball out from the back well and are very good on the counter-attack."

Experienced Mexico captain Rafael Marquez knows that keeping Barcelona's Neymar quiet is a challenge, but one Mexico must achieve if they are to upset the odds and move to the head of the group with one game remaining.

"We have to cover, have two against one, be fast and reduce the spaces on the pitch and not let him (Neymar) play," he told Brazilian news station Globo.

"It was a good win (against Cameroon) and it was very important.

"Against Brazil, it will surely be a very difficult game. We know the talent of Neymar, Oscar, Hulk but we will train in ways to handle them.

"We have to make the most of this opportunity - it is a showcase for all of us. For many of them it is an opportunity to go up one more level."

Mexico have no reported injury concerns and will again line-up in an attack-minded 5-3-2 formation.