Samba Boys have some making up to do
We can’t imagine a World Cup where Brazil don’t go in as one of the betting favourites to lift the trophy and despite a below-par showing on their own patch four years ago, traders are keen to keep them close in Russia.
Brazil to win World Cup 2018 is joint-favourite with Germany at most firms but there is bits and pieces of value out there if you’re calling Samba Time. Germany are 19/4 top price for two in-a-row and Sun Bets offer the biggest on Brazil at 5/1, making them marginal second favs.
Tite’s nation jet in with stats of five World Cup winner medals against two runner-up spots. They haven’t come out on top since claiming South Korea/Japan 2002, beating Germany 2-0 in the final. During qualifying Brazil topped their division with plenty to spare, finishing with 12 wins, five draws and one defeat. It’s worth remembering the South American teams play 18 times in a league of 10. The champions finished 10 points clear of second-place Uruguay.
Here’s three players that’ll prove crucial to any joy Brazil has this summer…..
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Messi of goalkeepers
Where else could we start than with the world record breaking goal scorer? He didn’t have the type of debut season at PSG we all expected following his transfer from Barcelona last year and some say the 26-year-old already wants a move back to Spain.
If that’s true or not it doesn’t matter here as he’s a man used to winning things and will want to prove himself on the biggest stage of them all. 12/1 second favourite behind Messi to finish as the tournament’s golden boot winner.
This one will be fascinating as we wait to see who will fill the one available starting slot in attack – Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City or Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino. Both will travel – that’s a given – and both will be called upon to play a part at different stages of the competition, but we expect Jesus to pull rank.
Rated as Man City’s third highest scorer this season at the time of writing, sitting on 13 behind Aguero’s 30 and the 21 of Sterling. May have an eye for goal but he’s far from a selfish player and that’ll be important when partnering Neymar.
Another tug-of-war will take place over the number one jersey, but Allisson Becker should get the call over Manchester City’s Ederson. Becker has enjoyed a breath-taking season for club side Roma and that form will earn him the nod.
Brazil must get the decision right following that hammering by Germany four years ago, but the 25-year-old offers a safe pair of hands with proven confidence performing in the big games. Fans have labelled him the Messi of goalkeepers, Real Madrid and Liverpool rumoured to be hot on his tail.