Big things are expected of host nation Brazil this summer but realistically, where can Phil Scolari’s men finish?
One thing that works in A Selecao’s favour is that their previously suspect central defense has sorted its problems out with Thiago Silva, being arguably the finest defender in the modern game, partnered by future PSG teammate David Luiz with Bayern Munich’s Dante as cover.
Many suggest Neymar needs to have a good tournament if Brazil are to have any chance of winning football’s biggest prize on home soil but Big Phil’s men have a lot more to their arsenal than the Barcelona man.
Brazil’s strong point is arguably their midfield where Manchester City’s Fernandinho and Chelsea’s Ramires offer passing and defensive skills along with bags with energy. Willian on the right does the defensive running, Hulk has a more direct style, favouring shots from distance while Oscar can feed passes to star man Neymar.
The 22-year-old is the poster boy of this World Cup and although he is no doubt the lynch-pin of this Brazil side, he is not the be all and end all to their success this summer. He will, however, be their main man as he has 31 goals in 49 Brazil caps.
With Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon joining the five time world champions in group A, Brazil should qualify with relative ease and then going into future rounds in confident mood. Neymar also looks in good stead for the golden boot.