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2014 FIFA World Cup: Croatia vs Mexico Pick, Odds, Prediction - 6/23/14

Croatia (0-1-1) vs. Mexico (1-0-1)

World Cup: Monday, June 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm (Brazil)

The Line: Mexico +180 See the Latest Odds

TV:

Croatia and Mexico square off on the final day of the Group A round robin as both teams look to advance to the round of 16.

Croatia kicked off the tournament with the unfortunate task of taking on the hosts from Brazil and while they surprised many with the effort they brought it was all for not as some questionable officiating and a late tally gave Brazil the victory and three huge points. Croatia felt robbed and rightfully so as Brazil were awarded a free kick after Fred took a clear dive in the box and the tally from Neymar put an end to the game and while it was frustrating for the Croat’s they responded in a big way against Cameroon less than a week later.  Mario Mandzukic returned to the Croatian lineup against Cameroon and his impact was felt immediately as he notched two of the four Croatian goals and if Croatia are to advance to the knockout stage they’ll need another solid effort out of him and Luka Modric. Croatia needs a victory here in order to secure their spot in the round of 16 as a tie will send Mexico through along with Brazil barring a monumental collapse from the hosts against Cameroon.

2014 FIFA World Cup: Croatia vs Mexico Pick, Odds, Prediction - 6/23/14

USA TODAY Sports

Mexico is coming off one of the most inspiring efforts in recent World Cup memory as goaltender Guillermo Ochoa stole the spot light in what was a special effort in a 0-0 draw that cemented his place in Mexican folklore. The single point gave Mexico four through their first two contests and if they secure at least a single point here they will be off to the round of 16 and have an opportunity to bring the World Cup trophy back home. While many are praising this Mexican side for their result against Brazil the bottom line remains that they should have lost that game by at least two or three goals if not for their goaltender’s remarkable game and if they play that way against Croatia they could very well spoil Ochoa’s effort and head home empty handed. Mexico have yet to lose in this tournament but they haven’t been overly impressive either as they barely scraped by against Cameroon and as mentioned were the benefactors of a ridiculous outing from Ochoa against Brazil whereas Croatia responded nicely after their tough outing against Brazil and wallpapered Cameroon by a 4-0 final. I think the tandem of Mandzukic and Modric will be too much for Mexico in this one and as a result I have Croatia advancing to the knockout stage with a win.

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Croatia +160

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