The most successful team in World Cup history with five trophies. On a good run of results – including a friendly win over Germany – they will be looking to rebuild that reputation after their 7-1 thrashing by the same opponents in their home tournament four years ago. Joint favorites with Germany to win.
Brazil went unbeaten in their final 17 World Cup qualifiers (only losing the opening game to Chile) to finish 10 points clear of second-placed Uruguay. Since then they have beaten Japan and drawn against England in November, before a 3-0 win over Russia and 1-0 victory over the world champions in Berlin.
What sort of shape are they in?
The big question is about the availability of Neymar, who Brazil are hopeful will make the World Cup. Their fourth top scorer of all time, despite only being 26, is recovering from successful surgery on a broken foot and might not return for Paris St-Germain this season. In February, boss Tite revealed the names of 15 players who were guaranteed a place in his squad, injuries aside.
Brazil have great strength in depth in some areas – Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino are probably battling for one starting spot up front, while Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson is likely to be back-up for Roma’s in-form Alisson Becker.
Tite admits his side are still haunted by 2014, saying “the 7-1 from the World Cup is like a ghost”.
“I think Brazil have more balance than people give them credit for. We talk about their talent going forward – Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Douglas Costa, Willian. But if you look at what they’ve got in midfield, Fernandinho can balance the team. And Shakhtar midfielder Fred – I don’t think it’s a coincidence Pep Guardiola wouldn’t mind having him at Manchester City next season.”
“Brazil look much more a team than Argentina do. We have to see how Neymar comes back and in what kind of condition.”
was at the 1-0 win over Germany: “It was more important psychologically than technically, but a few things stood out. Willian has cemented a place in the starting XI and it also seems Roberto Firmino’s great season at Liverpool still isn’t enough for him to pip Gabriel Jesus to the striker position.
“Manager Tite will also struggle with the fact Coutinho slotted in well on the left side of the pitch – Neymar’s favourite spot.”
Visit our Recommended Sportsbook Here