Thursday, April 24, 2014

World Cup Predicted Lineups: Brazil

So I have decided to start a series of posts where I post my predicted starting XI's for the World Cup this summer. I will also include the clubs that the players are with, as well as a short explanation for each player. In some cases, I will also include other notes that I think are worth a mention.

I will be starting with the host nation and one of the favorites, Brazil. A Seleção will be under massive pressure playing at home, and I do not believe they will disappoint. Their squad has a terrific balance of experienced players, and younger players that have shined.

Here is a link to ESPN FC's summary of Brazil's buildup to the World Cup.

I believe Brazil will lineup in a formation that is a mixture of a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1, with two more holding center midfielders and an attacking central midfielder.

GK: Júlio César - Toronto F.C. (On loan from Queen's Park Rangers)
  • César is the clear choice in goal, with loads of experience to his name. There is no real competition for this spot, with Jefferson of Botafogo as the second-choice having no competitive experience for Brazil.
RB: Dani Alves - F.C. Barcelona
  • Alves is arguably the best right back in the world, and should be a shoe-in for the starting XI. Although Maicon has had a good season for Roma, and Rafinha has been playing for Bayern Munich, neither have the ability and excitement that Dani can provide.

CB: Thiago Silva (c) - Paris Saint-Germain
  • Considered by many to be the best defender in the world, Thiago Silva will likely captain the Canaries in the World Cup. Silva has had another terrific season for PSG en route to his second consecutive Ligue 1 title.
CB: David Luiz - Chelsea F.C.
  • And here we have the enigma of David Luiz. He is not a regular starter for Chelsea, and when he does play, it is often as a central midfielder. With José Mourinho preferring the centre back pairing of John Terry and Gary Cahill, Luiz has struggled for time. He has, however, been Luiz Felipe Scolari's choice to partner Thiago Silva. Luiz has impressed in his performances for Brazil, including a terrific performance in last summer's Confederations Cup Final against Spain.
LB: Marcelo - Real Madrid C.F.
  • Marcelo is the regular choice at left back, but has only recently returned to training with Real Madrid due to an injury. If Marcelo is unable to perform, another player based in Madrid may replace him, with Felipe Luís having played very well this season with Atlético Madrid.
CDM: Luis Gustavo - VfL Wolfsburg
  • Gustavo was a regular in defensive midfield for Brazil during their Confederations Cup triumph last year. Gustavo can read the game well from a defensive point-of-view and knows how to tackle well, and he would provide good cover sitting in front of the back four.
CDM: Paulinho - Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
  • Paulinho partnered Gustavo in midfield during the Confederations Cup, and performed well enough to secure a then club-record transfer to Tottenham. He is a box-to-box midfielder who will put in work going forward, and does very well in clogging up passing lanes defensively.
RW: Hulk - F.C. Zenit Saint Petersburg
  • Hulk is an obvious choice for Brazil, as he is a terrific blend of power and finesse operating on the right flank. He can beat you on the dribble, and can also fire in a rocket from long range. Don't believe me? Check out the video below.


CAM: Oscar - Chelsea F.C.
  • Oscar has had another great season for Chelsea, and has solidified himself as a top-class scorer and provider. He's put in some very good performances for the national team, and will probably be the starting number 10 for Brazil, sitting behind the main striker.
LW: Neymar - F.C. Barcelona
  • Neymar has had a very good debut season in Europe with Barcelona, but he will miss the remainder of the season for the Catalans. Coming off of a foot injury suffered in the Copa Del Rey Final loss to Real Madrid, Neymar will be trying to get back to the flashy style of play he is used to. Many have noticed that this season Neymar was restricted in his flair.

ST: Fred - Fluminense F.C.
  • Fred will be the only outfield player for Brazil not applying his trade in Europe. He was the hero of the Confederations Cup last year, but suffered a long-term injury afterwards, from which his is currently playing his way back to form and fitness. The striker position is the weakest part of Brazil's game. Fred is unlikely to live up to the hype of previous Brazil number 9's, such as Romario, Pelé and the all-time leading goalscorer in the World Cup, Ronaldo. Fred can still play a key part in holding up play, and connecting with the superstars on either side of him.

  • I believe that it would be a huge mistake for Luiz Felipe Scolari to exclude Ronaldinho from the squad. Although he is quite older than most of the players in the team, he can provide off the field leadership, and is quite possibly the epitome of Brazilian football. He has had a great performance playing for Atlético Mineiro, and is the holder of the South American Footballer of the Year Award. He is an icon of football in Brazil, and would surely bring back some of the atmosphere of the World Cup winning squad of 2002.

Who do you think should be included or excluded from the starting XI or the squad in general? Let me know in the comments section, and remember to follow me on Twitter 

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