The five-time World Cup winners made it to the semi-finals in Brazil 2014 after being eliminated in quarter-finals in South Africa and Germany, but the disastrous 7-1 defeat to the Germans will remain in their memory for a long time, and it’s questionable how they will react this time around. Their last victory at the World Cup came in South Korea and Japan in 2002, when they destroyed all the opponents and won the title with all seven victories.
Brazil was drawn in the Group E together with Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Serbia, and Tite’s men are in an excellent position to make it through to the Round of 16, as they are given relatively easy opponents. Brazil is currently positioned in the 2nd place in the FIFA world rankings, Switzerland is in the 6th place, Costa Rica is in the 25th position, while Serbia is the worst-ranked team in the group in the 35th spot.
Maybe only Argentina can say that they have the strong attack as the Brazilians, but Argentina scored just 19 goals in 18 games in qualifications, while the Green and Yellow scored astonishing 41 goals. With Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, and Firmino all selected, the opposing defenses will not know where the danger is coming from, and with Philippe Coutinho and Willian behind them, this team is looking scary.
The highly efficient midfield is also Brazil’s strength as Paulinho, Coutinho, Willian, and Renato Augusto have 34 goals between them, and if the forwards have trouble to find the net, we can be assured that someone from the midfield will take the responsibility and that will likely be a little magician Coutinho.
A team like this doesn’t have a real weakness, but after Dani Alves’ injury, we must say that the Brazilian defense is not looking quite sturdy, despite conceding only 11 goals in 18 matches during qualifications. As I said before, the World Cup is an entirely different competition and the teams will be looking to exploit every opportunity they got, and I believe the right-back position is where Brazil is most vulnerable. Danilo will take the role down the right flank, but he is not the caliber of a player such as Dani Alves, but on the other hand, Marcelo is not the best left-back when it comes to defensive duties, so these two positions could be Tite’s worries.
To Reach Semi-Finals: +110
To Reach Quarter-Finals: -200
Group Qualifying Yes/No: -1600/+1000
Group Phase Matches:
Brazil’s player to watch
Brazil has several individuals who can turn out to be a major hit at this tournament, but I must highlight Neymar as the one, even though he is currently recovering from a foot and Achilles tendon injuries, he will likely be ready to face Switzerland in the opener. The former Barcelona forward just got his Ligue 1 player of the year award despite playing in just 20 games, but he recorded 19 goals and 15 assists in the process.
Neymar scored 28 goals and added 19 assists in 30 appearances in total for PSG this season and he needs 25 goals to surpass the famous Pele as the Brazilian all-time goal-scorer. At 26, he still has plenty of time to achieve that, but more than anything, Neymar would like to lift the World Cup trophy, so his every touch will be thoroughly monitored here.
Brazil’s World Cup 2018 Prediction
I have no doubts that Brazil will finish at the top of the Group E and if everything goes as planned, they will not face Germany before the semi-finals, so I believe they can reach that phase without problems. It will be interesting to see whether they are capable of getting revenge for a disaster from four years ago, but even though Brazil can go all the way this time, anything less than the semis would be disappointing for the team of their quality.