Brazil vs Croatia
The 2014 World Cup host Brazil, which is also one of the tournament’s favourite teams, plays against Croatia in the inaugural match today. The opponents have a lot of work to do since all the odds are against them.
The two teams have met twice; first in the 2006 World Cup where Brazil beat Croatia 1-0 and in a friendly in 2005 where the game ended in a 1-1 draw. If Croatia wins this game their name will be go down in history books as the first team to have ever beaten a host of the World Cup in an inaugural match since the tournament began.
Felipe Scolari, the head coach of Brazil must be having a headache, trying to pick the first eleven out of a team full of world class players. The lineup will probably comprise; GoalKeeper- Julio Cesar, Defenders- Marcelo, Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Dani Alves. Holding Midfielders – Ramirez and Luiz Gustavo. Attacking Midfielder – Neymar, Oscar and Hulk. Center Forward – Fred.
The man to watch is definitely the Brazilian super star, Neymar. At only 22 he has already been compared to the World’s best footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. Neymar is geared up to shine for his country just as he did during the Confederation Cup.
The Croatians have their own ‘super star’ as well; Midfield attacking player Ivan Rakitic whom they will be looking up to. Ivan has had a fantastic season with Sevilla in La Liga, scoring 10 goals and providing 10 assists.
Due to his outstanding performance, it’s rumoured that big clubs are closing in to sign him with Barcelona leading the way.
It looks like Brazil has something to be worried about considering that the referee in this fixture is Yuichi Nishimura from Japan, who handed Felipe Melo a red card in a game against Netherlands in the last World Cup in South Africa.
Another worry in the Brazilian squad is their ‘12th man’. The last time the team played, they were booed by their own fans despite winning 1-0 against Serbia. Will Croatia take advantage and make history tonight?