Date: June 12th
Time: 1:30 am IST
Preview: The wait for the proceedings to begin is finally over as hosts Brazil take on fellow Group A contenders Croatia in the highly awaited opening fixture of the FIFA World Cup 2014. Fans all around the world have been waiting with bated breath for the world cup to begin and the opening fixture looks to be a cracker jacker of a contest.
The match certainly promises to be a high scoring affair with both teams stocked up with plenty of attackers. Brazil easily boasts of the best attacking side in the tournament. With Fred, Hulk, Neymar and Oscar expected to led their charge, the former champions will have no mercy at even the mere sight of goal. Croatia on the other hand will look to put up a solid defensive performance and try to contain the hosts throughout the 90 mins. The Croats will settle even for a point from this ‘colossal’ fixture and Scholari will be too well aware of Niko Kovac’s tactics.
Mario Mandzukic, the talisman of the Croatian attack remains the notable absentee from this fixture after picking up a suspension in his earlier match. The Bayern striker has been in great form this season and his services will be dearly missed.
Line ups: Brazil : (4-3-3) Cesar; Alves, Luiz, Silva, Marcelo; Paulinho, Gustavo; Neymar,
Oscar, Hulk; Fred.
Croatia : (4-4-2) Pletikosa; Srna, Lovren, Corluka, Pranjic; Vukojevic, Modric; Perisic, Rakitic,
Predction: 3-0 to Brazil
Players to watch out for: Croatia – Pletikosa has been one of Croatia’s finest players over the years and the veteran will be looking for one more roll of the dice. He stands between Brazil and their goal routing and the goal keeper will have to get all his experience into play to see this one through.
Brazil – Neymar will certainly be the man to watch out for. The Barcelona star has been touted to become the ‘next big thing’ for the Samba boys and he has already proved to be an invaluable asset to them. He stands a chance to emerge as the top goal scorer of the tournament and his journey begins