South American giants Brazil go into the 2018 FIFA World Cup as one of the favourites to win the title and etch their name into footballing folklore. Head coach Tite has managed to bring the best out of a talented bunch of individuals and they will now be eyeing glory in Russia.
One of Brazil’s major strength is their attacking riches. One of the world’s best attackers in Neymar will be part of an illustrious triumvirate of Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus. The three front men have enjoyed fantastic domestic careers and will be looking to carry their good run of form into the World Cup.
The world’s best left-back Marcelo will occupy the left flank along with Neymar and the duo are expected to complement each other to devastating effect, ensuring that most of their side’s attacks are from their wing.
The South American side are also blessed with an array of talented keepers and it could be a tough choice for Tite to pick between Alisson and Ederson. Both keepers have had solid seasons for Roma and Manchester City respectively, but the former could edge out as he has been Brazil’s number one for a while.
The Selecao have a major issue at right-back as their long-serving option Dani Alves will not be on the plane to Russia due to injury. Whether or not Danilo or Fagner could step into the shoes of the PSG full-back is a big question that remains to be answered.
While Brazil may have a number of household names in the middle of the park in the form of Casemiro, Paulinho, Renato Augusto, Fernandinho and Fred, only Fred offers the side mobility from midfield.
The remaining options are technically sound players and will do a good defensive job, but it is uncertain that they’ll put their industry to good use around the 18-yard-area.
Tite is expected to deploy a 4-3-3 shape with two of the three midfielders sitting deep to cover the spaces vacated by the full-backs or could drop deeper to even form a compact back five without the ball.
In the final third, Coutinho is expected to play as one of the front three and with Neymar on the left, the FC Barcelona superstar will have to be content with a spot on the right with Gabriel Jesus playing through the middle.
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City), Cassio (Corinthians)
Defenders: Miranda (Inter Milan), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Geromel (Gremio), Danilo (Manchester City), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Fagner (Corinthians)
Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Paulinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Forwards: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Douglas Costa (Juventus), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk)