Tite’s revolution will be tested in Russia as Brazil hope to bounce back from the 2014 disappointment and seek their sixth World Cup title.
The memories of Brazil’s thorough 7-1 demolition at the hands of eventual Champions Germany are still fresh in the minds of their fans. Not only fans from their land, but from all throughout the world want Brazil to come back to their best and seek their sixth World Cup title in Russia, and so far the Brazilians have been on the right path.
On the back of their recent form, Brazil are expected by many to take the tournament by storm and make a statement which will make the 2014 semi-final look like a blip in their history. Brazil have found their mojo back before the World Cup, and coach Tite has ensured they come into Russia as real favourites, not the kind that is only good enough for the papers.
Brazil became the first team to reach Russia, with a comprehensive qualifying campaign which saw them lose their opening game to Chile, but then went on to win their next twelve in a row. Their quality on the field was defined by the expert strategy of Tite as well as the formidable form of Brazil’s attackers who shared the many goals they scored, scoring at the rate of 2-goals a game on average.
Group & Fixtures
On paper, Brazil’s toughest game is their first one against Switzerland, and this will go on to define the outcome of the group for both sides. The Swiss and the Brazilians are considered the favourites to march out of Group-E. There can be nothing taken away from Group-E, especially with predictions, considering the quality all four teams have.
Next up for Brazil is the game against Costa Rica, as the Central Americans will be out to prove they were no fluke back in 2014. This Brazilian squad has enough quality to see off Costa Rica, but there are always room for surprises. Brazil then meet the tricky Serbia, who will also be looking for qualification from this group, but the South Americans are expected to breeze past their European opponents.
Brazil announced their 23-man squad for Brazil, and there were no real surprises, as Tite named possibly his best unit possible with a triumph in mind for Russia.
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Man City), Cassio (Corinthians)
Defenders: Danilo (Man City), Fagner (Corinthians), Thiago Silva (PSG), Miranda (Inter), Marquinhos (PSG), Pedro Geromel (Gremio), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Paulinho (Barcelona), Fernandinho (Man City), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Fred (Shakhtar), Willian (Chelsea)
Forwards: Neymar (PSG), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Jesus (Man City), Douglas Costa (Juventus), Taison (Shakhtar)
Thiago Silva and Marquinhos are definite candidates to play from the start for Brazil with another experienced centre-half in Miranda as their next back-up. The exclusion of David Luiz was the biggest news coming out from the selection of the squad, but his lack of action last season made no one raise an eyebrow on his exclusion.
Tite ensured his side did not lose the swagger they displayed on their way to Russia in the qualification phase. Brazil had assured they are an attacking force with the likes of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Willian and Philippe Coutinho leading their attacking line and Tite ensured that effect remained together.
Other attackers like Taison, Douglas Costa and Roberto Firmino will be able to support the team from the bench, and this attacking depth will speak volumes of Brazil’s options in attack. Tite, however, had more of a focus on the spine of the team and will have his lineup based upon Neymar, Casemiro and Marquinhos, all of who are capable enough of holding the ground on their own.
Tite’s team selection has been to form a team that could be viewed as complete as opposed to an attacking or a defensive unit. They have brilliant options in their goalkeepers, defenders and central midfielder. While the attacking talent has already been showcased, Brazil’s team for Russia has all the ingredients necessary for a World conquering campaign.
Tite’s arrival coincided with some awful showings on the pitch from this Brazilian team. It was as if this team lacked any direction, leadership and tactical nous. If things had continued the way it was, then there would have doubts on this team to even make it to Russia, and even so, they did qualify they would not have been termed favourites.
Tite was fresh blood injected in this frailing Brazilian squad, which was torn between traditional tactics and expertise. Dunga and Luiz Felipe Scolari had been great coaches in the past, with the latter responsible for their last World Cup triumph, but everybody knew some things had to change, and Tite was the answer.
Since his arrival, he has changed the attacking, defei=nsive and overall gameplay dynamics on this side, which has become a stubborn force in the face of World Football. The earlier craving was to have at least one great leader in the team, Tite has transformed this side for Russia, installing not one but many many leaders within the squad.
Potential Stating-XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Marcelo, Marquinhos, Silva, Miranda; Casemiro, Fernandinho, Paulinho; Coutinho, Neymar, Jesus
Brazil, at least on paper are one of those sides that are capable enough to go on to win the World Cup. Their recent performances, especially in the qualifiers, and the World Cup warm-up games have instilled a winning feeling back into this squad. This feeling, along with the right mix of players are always responsible for garnering hope from one of World Football’s most important ever national teams.
At Russia, Brazil have a clear ambition and goal, to advance to the latter stages of the tournament and even try to win it. On route, they might face some old adversaries and tough teams, but this team is capable of beating them all. A differentiation between Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018 is that this team is not overly dependent on one player, as it has many leaders now to help them leap into the final of the tournament.