My money is on Brazil

I have no doubt that the whole world is eagerly awaiting to see what the extremely talented and industrial Brazil’s striker, Neymar Jnr, is going to dish out, come June 12.

My take is that Croatia is in for a big shock against the well-oiled machinery that is the Brazilian team.

The 23-man Brazil squad headed by world-renowned coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is a force capable of demolishing any opponent.

The Barcelona striker Neymar is going to play a key role for the five-time world champions.

Currently among the supporting cast in attack are the likes of Chelsea midfielder Ramires and Barcelona’s Dani Alves, whose presence on the flank will most definitely be felt.

Between the goalposts veteran goalkeeper Julio Cesar exudes confidence and security to the rest of the back line.

The squad consist a pool of talented players including PSG’s David Luiz, Real Madrid’s Marcelo, Chelsea’s Oscar, and Fluminense’s Fred just to mention a few.

Add to it that this Brazil team is fully aware of the enormous burden of expectation from its demanding supporters, who wants nothing less than a World Cup trophy.

Brazil is the only nation to have taken part in every edition of the elite competition, lifting the coveted trophy on a record five occasions (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002), finished in second place twice (1950 and 1998) and taken the last spot on the podium at another two editions (1938 and 1978).
Croatia on the other hand has Niko Kovac as a coach.

Kovac is a former player who hadn’t handled a major coaching role before.

Kovac has relied on Croatia’s most seasoned footballers and many in the final 23-man squad are Croatia’s tried and tested.

Nonetheless Croatia has the likes of Champions League winner and Real Madrid’s midfielder Luka Modric who will undoubtedly marshal the midfield in the company of Sevilla’s Ivan Rakitic and Inter’s highly-rated youngster Mateo Kovacic.

Bayern Munich FC’s Mario Mandzukic two Wolfsburg FC’s Ivan Perisic and Ivica Olic are expected to add firepower going forward.

Croatia’s most-capped player Darijo Srna is expected to occupy his usual right-back position.

Anyway Croatia boast a fantastic group of players and have an exceedingly good chance of getting past the group stage.

They can get a favourable result against other Group A teams like Mexico and Cameroon but a win against Brazil, to me, sounds a bit too ambitious.

Maile Matsimela

Latest News