Under Mano Menezes, Brazil has at least been a different team than under Dunga. They're more fluid, more attractive, and closer to Samba Football than anything Dunga's teams ever produced. However, Dunga's teams also produced some solid results before Felipe Melo lost his head at World Cup 2010. The Mano Menezes era has been one of mediocrity, thus far. Brazil's results have been respectable for the most part, but they do not look like a team ready to play with the world's elite.
Mexico under 'Chepo' Jose Manuel de la Torre has been slightly more encouraging. Their post-Gold Cup friendlies have infuriatingly included some old Chepo favorites when there are obviously better, younger players available for selection, but that's a very nit-picky gripe. The team played brilliant football en route to a Gold Cup victory this summer, and they've done reasonably well in friendly matches since.
While Brazil hasn't lost in their last four matches, two of those wins were unconvincing and two of the matches were faux-internationals. Brazil and Argentina played each other in a home and away series that featured only domestic-based players, with Brazil winning at home and getting a draw in Argentina. Their other two matches in their last four have been 1-0 wins over Ghana and Costa Rica. Both performances were very average.
Before that run of four games, Brazil was thoroughly outplayed by a far superior Germany team on August 10. The score finished 3-2 in favor of Germany, but it's a score that is extremely flattering to Menezes' side. Germany battered Brazil throughout the match, but didn't find their opening goal until the 61st minute, while Brazil's goals were a penalty and a 90th minute strike by Neymar after the Germans had taken their foot off the gas. The score could have very easily been something along the lines of 4-0 or 5-1 to Germany.
Brazil travels to Torreon to take on Mexico on Tuesday night, and there shouldn't be a single empty seat at Estadio Corona for what should be a seriously entertaining affair.
Mexico vs. Brazil
Time: 9:30 pm ET
Venue: Estadio Corona, Torreon, Mexico
TV: ESPN2 (USA - English), Univision (USA - Spanish)
For more on Mexico vs. Brazil and Mexican football in general, including thorough coverage of the Mexican Primera, check out SB Nation's Mexican futbol blog FMF State of Mind.