Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Brazil vs Croatia World Cup - Group A June 12, 2014

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Brazil vs Croatia - Competition: FIFA World Cup 2014, Group A

Hosts Brazil taking on Croatia in Sao Paulo on Thursday 12th June for the 2014 World Cup opening match.
Finally this moment arrived. The World Cup 2014 starts and Brazil will meet Croatia for the first match. It is obvious what their intentions are. They want to win the Word Cup for the 6 time. And the situation couldn’t be better than playing the World Cup as hosts. The first game is always an important one. If you lose, things could go in a bad direction. Think about France 2002. As current Champions they lost the opening game and in the end couldn’t qualify for the last 16. Brazil has other plans. They had two friendlies in the last weeks during their preparation for the World Cup. In the first game they played against Panama and won easily 4:0. Neymar, Dani Alves, Hulk and Willian scored. Against Serbia in their second test it was a bit harder. The Serbs were defending pretty well and Brazil had some troubles. But in the end Fred scored the golden goal in the 58 minute. It was a good test, because they assume Croatia to play similar to the Serbian team. Many teams have injury problems or important player missing. But not the Brazilian team, there are 23 men and all of them are ready for the first game.
It will be a very difficult first match for the Croatian team against the big favorite Brazil in their home country. Croatia has a good team with international experienced players but not many believe in a Croatian win in the opening game. As Brazil, they already played two friendlies in their preparation. Both games were won by the Croatians. After a 2:1 win against Mali they beat Australia with 1:0. Perisic scored twice against Mail and Jelavic made the deciding 1:0 against Australia. In contradiction to the Brazilian team, they will have more troubles with the climate. They already decided to switch their training in the evening hours instead of training in the morning due to climate problems. But that will become an issue for most of the European teams. Another important thing is that Mario Mandzukic will miss this first game because of a red card in the last play-off game against Iceland. Danijel Pranjic will miss too due to an injury. Gordon Schildenfeld who is believed to be the second central defender has some injury problems too, but there is still a chance for him to play the first game.

probable line-ups:
Brazil (4-3-3): Julio Cesar; Dani Alves, Marcelo, Thaigo Silva, David Luiz; Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho; Oscar, Hulk, Neymar; Fred.
Croatia (4-2-3-1): Pletikosa; Srna, Lovren, Corluka, Vrsaljko; Modric, Vukojevic; Perisic, Rakitic, Kovacic; Olic.

Brazil last 5 matches:
17/11/13 Honduras 0 – 5 Brazil
20/11/13 Brazil 2 – 1 Chile
05/03/14 South Africa 0 – 5 Brazil
03/06/14 Brazil 4 – 0 Panama
06/06/14 Brazil 1 – 0 Serbia

Croatia last 5 matches:
15/11/13 Iceland 0 – 0 Croatia
19/11/13 Croatia 2 – 0 Iceland
05/03/14 Switzerland 2 – 2 Croatia
31/05/14 Croatia 2 – 1 Mali
06/06/14 Croatia 1 – 0 Australia

 Match date: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Kick Off Time: 21:00 BST
Venue: Arena de Sao Paulo, SAO PAULO, Brazil

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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