Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WC: 12th June. Brazil v/s Croatia

Here we go. Hosts Brazil against Croatia to launch the hostilities.

Many pundits do not think this is a strong Brazil team and that they hold the favourite tag to win the trophy purely because of their home advantage. It's true they no longer have the superstar powers of Ronaldo, Rivaldo or Romario and that Neymar is the only player in the team capable of turning a game around. There are however a few things that I like about this Brazilian team that make them markedly better than their old teams.

First is their defence which is marshalled with supreme confidence by Thiago Silva. The PSG defender is common referred as the best defender in the world and he is as solid in defence as he is dangerous on attacking set pieces. It's true that I am not convinced of the defensive qualities of his defensive partner David Luiz, but Brazil can serenely switch to the offence with Silva holding fort at the back. Julio Cesar in net with Alves and Dante on the flanks makes for a solid back four.

Their second asset is manager Scolari who has won the Cup before. He is one of the best in the business in coaching national teams and Brazil seem to play positively and with confidence with him at the helm. The ex-Chelsea boss has shown he can get a result in truly-testing conditions in his previous managerial stints in Brazil and Portugal.

The rest of the squad contains a homogenous set of players that can play at any elite club; Ramirez, Oscar, Hulk and obviously Neymar have consistently proven themselves against the best in Europe.

So I don't see Brazil faltering and see them reaching the final at least.

Croatia have often been referred as the Brazil of Europe in the past because of their superior individual techniques and beautiful football. Although their team comprises of talented players like Luka Modric and Bayern's Mandzukic, I think they are a touch below the Croatian teams of old with the likes of Zuker, Boban and Prosinecki. They are good enough to get past the group stage but their run should run in the next round.

Whether convincingly or not, Brazil should win the opener on their way to winning the group.

Win: Brazil

No comments:

Post a Comment