Brazil World Cup Squad Analysis
The 7-1 humiliation at Mineirão in Semi-Final of 2014 WorldCup against Germany still seems like yesterday and it still haunts every Brazilian and the only way Brazil can wipeout this memory is by doing well in this World Cup and ever since Tite took up this Brazilian job, he has made his team much more balanced and formidable. On paper, this Brazil side looks like they have got the right amount of silk and steel to proceed much further in this competition and maybe win it too. It looks like Tite has got lots of options to pick from, well it is a joy for a manager to pick among the best.
● Squad Analysis :
Tite would be spoilt for choices when it comes to picking a goalkeeper for this squad with the likes of Allison and Ederson who have had great seasons for their clubs AS Roma and Manchester City present in this squad . Cassio is another goalkeeper who has been picked by Tite for the World Cup. Although both Allison and Ederson are equally talented goalkeepers Tite has made it clear that Allison would be his number one choice in front of the goal.
Defensively Brazil would be heading into the World Cup with an all PSG central defence consisting of the ever reliant Thiago Silva and talented Marquinhos and now coming to fullbacks, the left back position would be definitely be occupied by Marcelo but Brazil would be certainly missing the services of Dani Alves at the right-back who suffered ACL injury in the recent weeks and would be out of the World Cup. But the question still remains who would Tite be replacing him with, will it be realitively unknown Fagner or Danilo who didn’t play a single minute in Brazil’s 18-match World Cup qualifying campaign. Inter’s Miranda, Atletico’s Filipe Luis and Pedro Geromel would be some good additions to the defensive department in this squad.
○ Midfield :
With the likes of Casemiro, Fernandinho and Paulinho in the squad, it seems like Brazil have probably got the strongest midfield in terms of physicality and these players have had a really good season with Fernandinho winning the Premier League, Paulinho winning the La Liga and Casemiro who would be representing Real Madrid in the Champions League final means that this set of players will be coming into this World Cup with some good form. When a team has players like these who will cover the ground, get physical which will help to create a platform for the likes of Coutinho and Willian to float in this midfield and get creative to provide the supply for the front.
Although many questions have been raised on the defence of this side but when you have strength like this in the middle of the park can the opponents get to their defence. Another interesting addition to this midfield is Renato Augusto who has been one of the favourites of Tite who almost started in most of the fixtures during the qualifiers.
○ Forward :
Upfront the kind of talent that Brazil posses, they could probably tear apart any defence on any given day. Gabriel Jesus can be a sensation in this World Cup, he could definitely bang in a lot of goals. Neymar who is still in the process of recovery and has been named in the squad has to live up to all the expectations and pressure that will be put on him. Although Tite has made clear that Jesus would be his first choice number 9 but the kind of form that Firmino has been in this season it certainly seems that he could do the job whenever called upon. One more name in this list is Douglas Costa the man who was known for his time at Shakhtar and kind of lost his touch during his time at Bayern Munich seems to have got his mojo back at Juventus and he would be itching to get on the field for his national side.
● Probable Team & formation :
Allison Becker, Marcelo, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Fagner, Casemiro, Paulhino, Renato Augusto, Coutinho, Neymar, Gabriel Jesus
● Team Ratings :
● Fixtures :
○17 June 2018 – Brazil V/S Switzerland ( Rostov Arena )
○22 June 2018 – Brazil V/S Costa Rica (Krestovsky Stadium )
○27 June 2018 – Serbia V/S Brazil ( Otkritie Stadium )
● Past Record :
Although Brazil managed to finish at 4th place as they were defeated 3-0 by The Netherlands in the Third Place play-off but Brazil would only be remembered for their 7-1 humiliation in the hands of defending champions Germany. The five-time champions are now much more balanced and would be looking to avenge their last year’s exit.
● Recent Form :
Brazil has been in top notch form recently, they basically waltzed their way in the South American qualifiers which most of the pundits describe as the toughest section. Brazil demolished almost every opponent in the qualifiers finishing 10 points above second-placed Uruguay. With only one loss in their 18-match World Cup qualifying campaign, they are looking in an unstoppable form at the moment.
● Coach’s Quote :
All of the starters, including Willian, Thiago Silva, Felipe Luis, Fernandinho, who are players who have constantly entered the team, they have already been captains. The only one who has not yet been captain is Gabriel Jesus. It is true that Firmino did better than Gabriel Jesus, who was injured in the season. But Gabriel, in the Selecao, plays very well, So, yes, today he is our No. 9. “I always say that we have a strong group,” Tite added. “When different players were out, the group could perform well and keep strong. Dani is an incredible leader, technically and as a person. But this problem with him also gave us the opportunity of preparing Fagner and Danilo. This is an opportunity which came to them. And we’ll have the same trust in them as we had in Dani. Of course, we’ll miss Dani.”
Playing away from Brazil would definitely work in the favour of Selacao because it was due to the pressure of playing at home last time that certainly got better off them and last time around Brazil were too much reliant on Neymar which backed them in a corner making themselves as a one-man team, making it all about him even when he wasn’t on the pitch which made them psychologically fall apart and drowned in their own emotions. This would be slightly healthier setup for Brazil in Russia and we can definitely sense that there is much more balance in the team and they look really strong. Well, only defence seems to be the Achilles heel of this team and with kind of midfield and attack they have got if they could sort out their defensive problems and show a bit of defensive strength then this team could at least reach semi-finals of this tournament if not win it.