In our Brazil Preview: World Cup 2018, we share our analysis about this Brazil team who yet again are one of the favorites to win the competition.
Brazil Preview: World Cup 2018
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Cassio
Defenders: Danilo, Fagner, Pedro Geromel, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Miranda, Marcelo, Filipe Luis
Midfielders: Casemiro, Fernandinho, Renato Augusto, Fred, Coutinho, Paulinho, Willian
Forwards: Douglas Costa, Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar, Taison
- Manager: Tite
- Captain: Thiago Silva
- Best Finish: Winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
Likely starting lineup
For Brazil players and fans alike, the scars from the previous World Cup, on home soil in 2014, may have just about healed ahead of this edition of the competition.
The 7-1 loss the Selecao suffered four years ago in that memorable semi-final against Germany will echo in eternity as one of the most shocking moments in the history of the tournament, as Brazil crumbled under the expectation of a nation and floundered without leaders.
Although they unsurprisingly struggled to shake off that exit initially, in Tite they’ve found a coach that’s given Brazil an edge back. After a record qualifying campaign, they now head to Russia as one of the favourites to win the prize.
While Luis Felipe Scolari was a little gung ho in his managerial approach and Dunga was too defensive, their current coach has found a brilliant balance. It means while the team may not be packed with the flair players we’ve seen from Brazil sides gone past, the foundation is there for star men to flourish.
With the likes of Casemiro and Paulinho in midfield, there’s a clear emphasis on energy and physicality from the Brazil coach. Renato Augusto has been tasked with being the link man to the front three of Philippe Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus and Neymar.
What makes Brazil such a fearsome proposition is the options they have in reserve. The attacking triumvirate aforementioned is what Tite has turned to in the main, however a three of Willian, Douglas Costa and Roberto Firmino would be better than the vast majority of teams in the draw.
The concerns for Brazil are mainly mental. If they were to come up against Germany in a semi-final would they be able to deal with the occasion? If they conceded two goals in quick succession in a knockout game would memories of the meltdown from 2014 come flooding back again?
We’ll only know when presented with those scenarios, but there’s no doubt this Brazil is better equipped to win this prize than the one that started out at home four years ago.
Key Man – Neymar
After heartbreak in 1998, Brazilian icon Ronaldo returned to the World Cup four years later and led his country to glory. You wonder if a similar story of redemption will be on the cards for Neymar here.
The Paris Saint-Germain star was injured in the quarters four years ago and without him the Selecao disintegrated in that infamous semi-final against Germany. In 2018, Neymar is the talisman of the team again, although this time the supporting cast is of a higher standard.
As for the man himself, there have been some fears over his fitness, as he sat out the season from February onwards because of injury. Those worries were allayed to some degree when Neymar returned for Brazil in a recent friendly against Croatia and crashed in a stunning goal.
The fanatical supporters who follow this country will hope the time on the sidelines has rejuvenated Neymar and he heads into this World Cup at full tilt. It may take him some time to grow into the competition, but the forward is the kind of character who can have a huge effect in big matches in the latter stages.
Brazil’s Group Stage fixtures
Sunday, June 17
Friday, June 22
Wednesday, June 27
Brazil’s path to the final
If Brazil wins Group E, their Round of 16 game will be against the country that finishes second from Group F which will either be Sweden, Germany, Mexico or South Korea. If Brazil wins that Round of 16 game, Brazil will enter the quarterfinal stage with a game against the team that is victorious between the winner of Group G (England, Belgium, Panama or Tunisia) and the team that finishes second in Group H (either Poland, Senegal, Colombia or Japan). If Brazil advances to the semi-final stage, it’ll play the winner of the quarterfinal that comes out of the A1 vs. B2 versus C1 vs. D2 series.
If Brazil finishes second in Group E, Brazil will play the team that finishes first in Group F (either Germany, Mexico, South Korea or Sweden). If Brazil wins that game, it would be in the quarterfinal against the team that is victorious between the winner of Group H (either Poland, Senegal, Colombia or Japan) and the team that finishes second in Group G (either England, Tunisia, Belgium or Panama). If Brazil advances to the semi-final stage, it’ll play the winner of the quarterfinal that comes out of the B1 vs. A2 versus D1 vs. C2 series.
Brazil World Cup shirt (home)
It’s one of the most recognized jerseys in the world, the famous yellow of Brazil.
For the new home jersey, Nike matched the exact yellow used for the 1970 jersey, the year when games were first televised in color and the year when Brazil won its third World Cup. Dubbed “Samba Gold”, the bold color matches a bold style of play. Green lines the collar, and joins third color blue on a knit strip on the back of the neck. Inside the collar is printed the globe from the national flag. “Voce E A Selecao” (“Your Selection”) circles the globe.
Brazil World Cup shirt (away)
Brazil heads to Russia with one of the strongest teams in the tournament. Show your pride.
The blue away jersey features a star graphic on the front panel. This references 1958, the first time playing Sweden, and the first World Cup star earned. A yellow and green knit strip sits on the back of the neck. Inside the collar is printed the globe from the national flag. “Voce E A Selecao” (“Your Selection”) circles the globe.
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