Jun 23, 2014 at 9pm UK at ​Arena Pernambuco, Recife
Croatia
1-3
Mexico
Perisic (86')
Rakitic (9')
Rebic (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Marquez (72'), Guardado (75'), Hernandez (82')
Marquez (39'), Vazquez (66')

Preview: Croatia vs. Mexico

Sports Mole looks ahead to the final Group A encounter between Croatia and Mexico.

It's winner takes all in Recife on Monday evening, with Croatia and Mexico both battling to extend their stay at the World Cup beyond the group stages of the competition.

As it stands, the Mexicans have four points and are second only on goal difference to hosts Brazil, with the Croatians a point further back in third. As a result, the Eastern Europeans must win to ensure that their interest in the competition extends into the second round, while Mexico only need a draw.

In terms of team selection, Croatia were boosted by the return of Mario Mandzukic from suspension last time out and the Bayern Munich frontman is expected to lead the line again against Mexico.

Meanwhile, Manchester United's Javier Hernandez has started the previous two group games on the bench, but there is speculation that he could be handed a place in the starting lineup this time around.

These two sides last met competitively at the 2002 World Cup, with Mexico coming out on top 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Cuauhtemoc Blanco. Prior to that, Croatia won the previous two fixtures.

Recent form

Croatia: WDWWLW

Mexico: WWLLWD

Possible starting lineups

Croatia: Pletikosa; Srna, Lovren, Corluka, Pranjic; Modric, Rakitic; Perisic, Kovacic, Olic; Mandzukic

Mexico: Ochoa; Rodriguez, Marquez, Herrera, Layun; Dos Santos, Moreno, Guardado, Peralta, Aguilar; Hernadez

Sports Mole says: 1-0

Mexico international Hugo Sanchez in action at the World Cup on June 21, 1986.
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