Spain braced for Mexico test
Both sides have reasons to be cheerful after safely negotiating the group phase. While Mexico came through a demanding section that pitted them against Brazil and Russia, the Spanish showed they can rise to the occasion by seeing off Portugal in a pivotal meeting.
Thursday's match is set to be a clash of similar styles, both sides putting a premium on patient build-up play and boasting plenty of scoring options, so much so that Spain's 16 goals have come from seven different players, while six players have contributed to Mexico's round dozen. Man for man Spain perhaps have the edge, with the experienced Amarelle and Nico both vital performers. Crucially for Mexico, though, keeper Miguel Estrada and Ricardo Villalobos have stood tall at vital times.
The two sides have never met before in the competition and this is the first time UEFA and CONCACAF have crossed swords in the quarter-finals.
Mexico have a lot of strong points. They're a fit side with a lot of technical and tactical qualities, but above all they're motivated. They're a young team who are keen to achieve something big - Amarelle, Spain forward.
Spain have got plenty of experienced players who've seen it all, and experience is what we were lacking when we lost to Brazil. They deserve our respect but we won't be standing off against them - Ricardo Villalobos, Mexico forward.