5 Down, 7 to go! Next up is 8-time winners Brazil, who have remodelled their squad since last summers’ humbling World Cup defeat, with just 12 players in the 23 man squad with 10+ caps. It’s a very young squad, with some of the older heads’ missing out this time, as well as some younger stars who didn’t quite make the cut. Here is their 23 man squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Jefferson, Neto, Marcelo Grohe,
Defenders: David Luiz, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Fabinho, Geferson, Filipe Luis, Danilo
Midfielders: Fernandinho, Elias, Souza, Everton Ribeiro, Douglas Costa, Willian, Philippe Coutinho
Forwards: Neymar, Diego Tardelli, Robinho, Roberto Firmino.
Expected Lineup (4-2-3-1): Jefferson, Danilo, Miranda, Thiago Silva, Filipe Luis, Fernandinho, David Luiz, Coutinho, Neymar, Firmino, Willian
As mentioned, many new faces and many missing the cut. The likes of Dani Alves were not even in the 30 man preliminary squad, with new stars such as Danilo preferred. Neto, Grohe, Geferson and Fabinho are uncapped, while Douglas Costa, Coutinho and 5 others have less than 10 caps. Hulk, Alves, Marcelo, Oscar, Fernando and more did not make the squad – Dunga obviously looking to go in a different direction, although some of those were injuries. Very disappointed not to see Felipe Anderson or Rafael Alcantara in the squad, maybe a little too soon for both, despite impressing greatly this season.
What to Expect?
Attacking football, with a twist. Centre forward has been a problematic position for Brazil since the days of Ronaldo retirement. Fred was very lazy, and the likes of Robinho, Jo and many others have never quite cut it. They may have found an answer, which is Roberto Firmino, who plays as an attacking midfielder in Germany, and he has been tried up front and done very well, with 2 goals in 4 caps and very impressive performances. Could he be the answer? I’m also expecting Luiz to partner Fernandinho, with the likes of Everton, Elias lacking in experience at big events. Neymar should run the show for them, with others chipping in with goals.
The usual suspects – Neymar for one, but apart from him the rest of the side is relatively new. Firmino should be interesting to watch in his new role, while Douglas Costa is a prospect and a half to come off the bench. Liverpool’s Coutinho could also be a catalyst behind Firmino, with brilliant vision and a great long-shooting. Those three are my ones to watch!
- Winner @ 10/3
- Group Winner @ 8/15
- Top Goalscorers @ 13/5
- Goalscorers: Neymar @ 6/1, Firmino @ 20/1
- Reach the Final @ 6/4
Some decent odds here, if they fire on all cylinders. Firmino TGS @ 20/1 could be a good shout, if his supply is as good as his finishing ability. Neymar will be on penalties and free kicks, and with their players well known for going down easily – that could be a factor.
Brazil should do well, even if underperforming Neymar should drag them to at least a semi final. With Colombia, Peru and Venezuela in their group, a top 2 finish should be assured, and even if that bad a best 2 3rd places is the worst that could conceivably happen. However, I do believe that one of Argentina or Chile will beat them.