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Team News
Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari should field a 4-2-3-1 formation for the tournament opener.

Much has been said about the loss of form of Chelsea’s Oscar, and Scolari will be hoping that the youngster regains his form soon.

If his dip continues, another Stamford Bridge star, Willian, can be called upon.

Croatia could suffer from the absence of Mario Mandzukic, who is suspended following his red card in the play-off game against Iceland back in November.

One man in their squad was born and bred in Brazil. Eduardo has played for Croatia for a long time, though he admitted recently he might even sing both national anthems.

Match Notes
So here it is. After years of build-up, and weeks of anticipation, Brazil begin the 2014 World Cup against underdogs who could still pull off a shock.

Granted, the Croats are not a patch on the team that boasted the likes of Davor Suker and Robert Prosinecki, but hosts do not always start well.

It is important Brazil score first and, possibly, early. Great attention will be focused on Neymar, the young man many compatriots believe cpould be the star of the World Cup.

Stat of the game: In the build-up to the World Cup, Brazil averaged 2.58 goals per game, scoring two or more goals in 84 per cent of those matches.

Brazil (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Cesar; Alves, Luiz, Silva, Marcelo; Gustavo, Paulinho; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred.

Croatia (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Pletikosa; Srna, Lovren, Corluka, Pranjic; Vukojevic, Modric; Perisic, Rakitic, Kovacic; Olic.
Out: Mandzukic (suspended).

Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan).

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