Pitch Dish

Brazil vs. Croatia

brazil-croatia

The World Cup is Finally Here! It’s time to watch Brazil vs. Croatia!

To the uninitiated, this match-up may seem a walk-in-the-park for Brazil. And yes, without Mandžukić, Croatia is not the same team. But they have world class players, and the ability to sting you if you take them too lightly.

with your friends so they don’t miss the game!

Likely Matchups

Brazil’s full-backs vs. Croatia’s wingers – You’re not going to find a more attack-minded full-back pairing anywhere in the World Cup than Brazil’s Dani Alves and Marcelo. They love to push forward into the midfield line in the offensive phase, and with Hulk and Neymar both having a tendency to drift infield from the flanks, overlapping runs from the full-backs are a requirement in Scolari’s system.

Thus, Croatia’s wingers — most likely Ivica Olić and Ivan Perišić — will almost certainly be looking to get in behind down the flanks, and Modrić and Rakitić will try to feed them with long diagonal passes. Should they counter efficiently, Croatia will cause Brazil problems.

Mario Mandžukić’s replacement vs. Brazil’s defense – Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola sure isn’t Mandžukić’s biggest fan, but there’s little doubt that he’s one of the best pure strikers in world football at present, and he’ll be sorely missed by Croatia against Brazil. His ability to hold up the ball for his teammates on the break is as good as his finishing, and Croatia have no comparable options up front. But if they’re going to have any chance of a result here, they need his replacement — be it the more static, powerful Jelavić or the mobile, nimble Eduardo — to step up to the plate and cause Brazil’s strong centre-backs harm.

Prediction: 3-0 Brazil, especially if Brazil scores in the first 30 minutes. If it is scoreless at half, it could swing as far as a 1-1 tie.

Read More: sbnation.com

2 Comments

  1. Pitchdish.com

    June 12, 2014 at 8:13 am

    12 noon Pacific – 3 pm Eastern – 8pm UK

  2. Pitchdish.com

    June 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    1 hour to go!

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