Croatia need a win, while Mexico require only a draw to qualify for the last 16 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. So, when the two teams meet in this decisive Group A clash, all the pressure will be on the Europeans to find a positive result.
TV and Live Streaming Information
Get the report HERE
The Group A game is set for a 5 pm local time (1.30 am IST, 9 pm BST, 4 pm ET) start with live coverage on Sony Pix HD and Sony Pix in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Mexico viewers can live stream the game HERE. US viewers can watch the game on ESPN while the option to live stream is HERE. Watch the match in the UK on ITV and BBC with the live streaming option HERE or HERE. Australia viewers can go HERE to watch the game live online, while South Africa viewers can watch the match HERE.
Mexico put in a smashing rearguard performance against Brazil in their last game to earn themselves a goalless draw against the hosts and tournament favourites. If goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa plays anything like he did against Brazil, when he refused the let the ball cross the line, even when it looked destined to, then Croatia will be in for a long evening.
Brazil are in pole position to top Group A, as they face already eliminated Cameroon in Brasilia, the same time of the Croatia vs Mexico faceoff. The hosts have four points from two games, the same as Mexico, with Croatia on three points, courtesy their 4-0 mauling of Cameroon.
While the pressure might seem to be on Croatia, who need a win to qualify, coach Niko Kovac insisted it will be Mexico who will feel the heat come Monday.
"I believe they [Mexico] are under enough pressure already," he said. "You can compare our ambitions and goals and their ambitions and goals and then if anybody's knees should tremble it should be theirs.
"The need to win might create pressure but we enjoy our football and we will realize our collective dreams. But we are also realistically optimistic, because we have players from top-notch clubs, if we cannot be optimistic now, when can we."
These two teams have history, with Mexico playing a big part in knocking out Croatia in the group stages at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea with a 1-0 win. Kovac, who was a part of the team that lost that match, believes if history repeats itself, this World Cup campaign for Croatia, filled with talented individuals playing with some of the biggest clubs in the world, cannot be termed as a failure.
"It will not be a failure," he added. "I am not even thinking about that. We have done our best and prepared the team as well as we could. This is a young generation. We have several players from the Under-21s and Croatia has a pool of players to rely on for time to come. These lads can be together for five or six years and I hope it will be a good beginning for this team."
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera will ask for a similar performance to the one against Brazil, where his side defended with discipline, while also being dangerous on the counter-attack. Croatia, no doubt, can expect plenty of men behind the ball, looking to defend their own half on Monday in Recife.
"We have had the motivation since we arrived in Brazil," Herrera said on Sunday. "We're motivated by the fact that tomorrow, we will hear the fans of Mexico very well. We have to show our people that we are with them. We will have to do everything possible on the field of play.
"I believe that these are two teams that like to attack. Tomorrow there is the match, and then for one of the teams there is no more tomorrow. We will do our best to come back to our camp and train for the next match."
Croatia will depend on their star striker Mario Mandzukic to fire on all cylinders again, while Mexico will need their midfielder, especially Hector Herrara, to pull the strings and trump the influence of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
Expected lineups: Croatia: Pletikosa; Srna, Corluka, Lovren, Pranjic; Modric, Rakitic; Perisic, Sammir, Olic; Mandzukic.
Mexico: Ochoa; Aguilar, Rodriguez, Marquez, Moreno, Layun; Herrera, Vasquez, Guardado; Dos Santos, Peralta.
Prediction: 2-1 to Croatia