- Published on Thursday, 12 June 2014 17:40
- Written by Nepalifootball
: Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo
Kick-off: (5pm, Brazil time)
Referee: Yuichi Nishimura, Japan
Played 2 Brazil Wins 1 Draws
Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil)
Niko Kovac (Croatia)
Neymar has recovered from a training ground knock that left an entire nation holding its breath and is likely to start on the left in Scolari's typical 4-2-3-1 formation with Hulk on the opposite side and Fred playing as a lone striker.Scolari is set to keep faith with Chelsea playmaker Oscar in the No 10 playmaker position, although if his inconsistent form continues he could turn to his club teammate Willian.
Croatia will be without their most potent forward, Mario Mandzukic, who is suspended following his red card in the play-off game against Iceland in November.
That means that Eduardo is likely to lead their attack against the country of his birth with the striker recently admitting he might sing both national anthems.
• 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.
Nepalifootball.com Prediction: - Brazil 2-0 Croatia