Brazil World Cup 2022 Guide: Key Players, Injuries, Tactics & Tournament Prediction

No nation has had more World Cup success than Brazil. The Selecao have won the competition five times and Tite’s side are pre-tournament favorites to go all the way in Qatar. Only a brave man would bet against them this winter.

But Brazil have underperformed on the biggest stage since they last took World Cup glory in 2002 and the expectations for this exciting repeat of the Selecao mean there is always a chance they could crash and burn.

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Here’s what to expect from Brazil at the World Cup.

Goalkeepers: Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras)

Defenders: Dani Alves (UNAM), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Marquinhos (PSG), Danilo (Juventus), Alex Telles (Sevilla), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Bremer (Juventus)

Midfielders: Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham United), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fred (Manchester United), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo)

Forwards: Neymar (PSG), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Antony (Manchester United), Richarlison (Tottenham), Raphinha (Barcelona), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Pedro ( flamenco)

Brazil has not been hit so hard by injuries ahead of the World Cup. Expected starting striker Richarlison suffered a calf injury in October but has since made a full recovery and is ready to go.

Defender Diego Carlos will miss out with an ACL tear, while the perennially injured Arthur Melo also misses out with a thigh problem.

Neymar has played at an incredibly high level in 2022 / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Marquinhos

Brazil may well have the most formidable centre-back duo at the World Cup. Captain Thiago Silva continues to defy fatherhood in the Premier League, while Marquinhos remains one of Europe’s most underrated defenders. The PSG skipper has been a mainstay in the Brazilian defense for years, earning 71 caps in the process.

casemiro

Despite Brazil’s abundance of midfield riches, Casemiro is ready to partner club-mate Fred in the middle of the park. Given Fred’s streaky nature in possession, Casemiro’s importance to Tite’s side cannot be understated. He is the stabilizer.

Neymar

The undisputed star of this side playing at a Ballon d’Or winning level. Neymar has carried the Selecao at times during his international career but he is blessed with an outstanding support role in 2022. The PSG man needs just three goals to overtake Pele as Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Tite has generally used a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 of late and it would be a surprise to see the Brazil boss deviate from these basic formations. Neymar is the star of this excellent side and is given as much freedom as possible in a #10 position.

Brazil Predicted XI: Alisson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Telles; Casemiro, Fred; Raphinha, Neymar, Vinicius, Richarlison.

Brazil have not been beaten since their defeat by Argentina in the 2021 Copa America final. They have played 15 matches since then, winning 12 and drawing three.

Their route to Qatar was a huddle as they topped the qualifying table and Tite’s side last impressed in their autumn friendlies; beat Tunisia and Ghana comfortably. In short, the pre-tournament favorites head to Qatar full of confidence.

Brazil’s last five results (all competitions)

Brazil have flattered to dazzle under the bright lights for the past 20 years, but there’s just something about this Selecao outfit that makes you think it will be their time again.

The unity and harmony of Tite’s squad can only be rivaled by their fiercest rivals Argentina, who may well be the biggest threat to Brazilian glory in Qatar. However, the earliest these two familiar foes can meet is the semifinals.

Brazil will have to tame a tricky group to enter the knockout stages, but you have to back this side to beat anyone on their day. Tite has found the optimal balance and although they are still weak at left-back, it is hard to bet against Brazil going all the way in Qatar.

Prediction: Winner

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