Brazil v Croatia: FIFA World Cup 2014
Brazil v Croatia tonight as the World Cup 2014 finally gets under way from the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.
After 820 qualifying matches involving 202 teams, the nation synonymous with the beautiful game is finally ready, just, to host football’s greatest event.
For all the legitimate arguments about whether the cost of the most expensive World Cup in history would have been better spent on more pressing needs, the Brazilian obsession with football will surely dictate that passionate protests will be largely replaced by fervent support.
That especially, if the national team hit the ground running in the opener against a tough Croation opposition.
The opening match will be preceded by a ceremony in Sao Paulo that pays tribute to nature, people and football.
“Let me tell you the time has arrived. We are going together. This is our World Cup,” said Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari on Wednesday.
There will be plenty of devastating strikers and playmakers at both nations’ disposal in Sao Paulo with Neymar and Oscar for the hosts plus Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic for the opposition.
However, it is rare for the World Cup opener to be a goal fest. Since their stunning World Cup debut in 1998, Croatia have failed to qualify. They are always competitive though and Niko Kovac’s side have never conceded more than two in a World Cup fixture.
Oscar is likely to start despite his recent poor form and a Brazilian media lobby for his Chelsea team-mate Willian.
Croatia are without suspended striker Mario Mandzukic, so Nikica Jelavic or Eduardo will deputise.
Sime Vrsaljko will play at left-back in place of the injured Danijel Pranjic
- The host nation has never lost their opening World Cup game, with the 20 previous hosts winning 14 and drawing six of their openers.
- Brazil’s one previous tournament as hosts saw them defeat fellow 2014 Group A members Mexico 4-0 in their opening game (1950).
- Eight of the last 12 opening matches at World Cups have produced one goal or less.
- Brazil are taking part in their 20th World Cup. They are the only team to have taken part in every single tournament – winning it a record five times.
- A Selecao have won the most games (67) and scored the most goals (210) at the World Cup.
- Brazil have won eight of their last nine World Cup games in the group stages (1 draw). Their last defeat dates back to 23 June 1998 against Norway (1-2).
- Croatia have only conceded 11 goals in 13 World Cup games (0.85/game). It’s the best ratio among the 32 teams taking part in 2014.
- Croatia’s last nine World Cup games have produced six red cards.
- Brazil won their one previous competitive meeting with Croatia 1-0 in the 2006 World Cup; Kaka scored the winner in Berlin that day.
Back Brazil to beat Croatia at enhanced odds @4.0
<<<<<Full World Cup Betting>>>>
Got an opinion on this story, who are YOU backing for the GOLDEN BOOT?…….
Join in the debate in the FORUM COMMENTS BELOW or contact Always Back Winners through our FACEBOOK LINKS or you can even tweet to us @BackWinners
Sign up to our BRAND NEW newsletter for a weekly round up of offers, antepost views and competitions etc [mc4wp_form]
Get up to £500 of FREE BETS from our betting partners…
Check it out<<< Here>>>
Watch Live Sports Free – Live Streaming
Log in here to watch sports live free streaming
Nice win double to kick off the tournament lads!!!