Brazil were far from convincing in their 3-1 success over Croatia, a scoreline which flattered the hosts and does not tell the story of how they toiled against Niko Kovac's side.
Mexico for their part were enjoyably direct in their 1-0 win over Cameroon, scoring two more goals which were wrongly ruled out and generally moving the ball at a pleasing tempo, something that should come in very handy against a seemingly fragile host nation.
Brazil of course remain massive favorites for Tuesday night's encounter with bet365 pricing them at 3/10 (1.30) while Mexico offered at 10/1 (11.00) and the draw available at 5/1 (6.00).
Perhaps their somewhat lacklustre performance in the opening game will serve as a catalyst for Brazil with their fans and indeed many neutrals hoping to see a more fluid display from Luis Felipe Scolari's side.
Mexico, meanwhile, will be hugely buoyed by their opening win and they are a side that likes to attack.
Against a physical Cameroon outift they swarmed forward and expect them to try and take the game to Brazil.
The bookmakers certainly think there should be goals in this one with over 2.5 goals offered at just 3/5 (1.60).
That might tempt some punters who are happy to back short prices, but for those of us looking for something offering a little more value the price of 12/5 (3.40) for Mexico to score in the first half looks like an excellent bet.
Mexico scored first-half goals in three of their last four CONCACAF qualifiers and scored a perfectly good first half goal against Cameroon only for it to be ruled out.
While five times champions and hosts Brazil provide the sternest of opposition, there is enough to suggest that this could be a shrewd value bet and allows us to invest in the goals market at a particularly juicy price.
|Mexico to score in the first half at 12/5 (3.40) for a 1.5pt stake with bet365