Preview: Netherlands v Mexico
Netherlands captain Robin van Persie returns to the fray when his side take on a rejuvenated Mexico for a place in the World Cup quarter finals.
Van Persie, who is three goals short of 250 in his career, missed the Netherlands’ 2-0 win over Chile in their final Group B game through suspension.
The Dutch finished as top first round scorers with 10 goals from three games.
But as European teams are forced onto the backfoot by Latin American rivals in Brazil, the Netherlands will need all the scoring skills of Van Persie and his strike partner Arjen Robben.
Leroy Fer, who scored against Chile, is injured and will definitely miss the game.
Veteran striker Dirk Kuyt’s value as a squad player is likely to be evidenced again when he wins his 100th cap by playing at left back.
He was brought in as a surprise choice to bolster the defence for Monday’s 2-0 win in Sao Paulo after Bruno Martins Indi was ruled out with concussion, with Daley Blind moving from left to centre back.
Veteran Mexico midfielder Carlos Salcido will replace the suspended Jose Juan Vasquez against the Netherlands, coach Miguel Herrera said.
There has been much attention on Manchester United striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who has started every game on the substitutes bench.
Hernandez came on to score against Croatia – ending a year-long international drought – and Herrera has praised his attitude. But "Chicharito" will start the Netherlands game on the sidelines again.
Herrera said the players who have got Mexico this far deserve to keep their places but insisted that Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez remains a key player despite not yet starting a World Cup match.
“My gratitude to him is that he is always waiting and also comes on with a great attitude, great determination and will also be a danger for the opponents.”