Mklee
From:Lee Min Kok, Digital Sub-editor, ST, posted on 12 June at 6:19 PM
12 June at 6:19 PM

World Cup 2014 Preview Videos: 5 reasons why Brazil can get off to a perfect start against Croatia

 

1. Striker in form 

Unlike the archetypal Brazilian forward, Fred is devoid of the flamboyance and skills we've come to expect from a side boasting the likes of Ronaldo and Pele in the past. But the 30-year-old, the only player in the first 11 from a domestic team, makes up for it with aerial ability and physical power - check out his opportunistic winner while off-balance in the Selecao's last friendly against Serbia.    

2. Outrageous goals in Neymar's locker 

All the pressure will be on the 22-year-old superstar's shoulders - especially when the going gets tough. For all his tricks, Neymar can also conjure up some breathtaking goals. His sublime volley against Japan in the 2013 Confederations Cup - hitting the ball first time at an awkward height - is a fine example.

3. The Oscar factor 

Chelsea's twinkled-toed midfielder was Jose Mourinho's favourite, but ran out of steam in the second half of the season. His eye for a killer pass and overall ability to make things happen will be crucial in the middle of the park for Brazil. 

4. They have the world's most expensive defender - David Luiz 

A record fee of 50 million had been agreed between Chelsea and PSG for the defender's services, making David Luiz officially the world's most expensive defender. While some of his defending might be questionable, the Brazilian no doubt has the samba skills and ball-carrying ability to make a difference. 

 

5. Attacking threat from the fullbacks

In Dani Alves and Marcelo, Brazil posses two the most attack-minded full-backs in the game. Both are technically-gifted and have great stamina, although Alves has slowed down with age. Marcelo has shone for Real Madrid this season, particularly in the Champions League final when he scored a superb goal to clinch the trophy. 

For match highlights, reports, analyses and features, visit our World Cup microsite at http://bit.ly/1lpxe8K

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