Football / World Cup USA '94: Brazil looking to deadly duo

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BRAZIL, promising a feast of attacking football, are looking to strikers Bebeto and Romario to give them the perfect start to their World Cup campaign against Russia today.

Both sides have identified the deadly duo, who have scored more than 50 international goals between them, as the key players in the opening Group B game in San Francisco, pitting Brazil's individualism and flair against Russia's calculated team approach.

'Romario is an incredible player. He can have a quiet game and then he can decide everything in one moment,' Carlos Alberto Parreira, the Brazilian coach, said.

Backed by their passionate supporters, the three-times world champions are setting out confidently to win the Cup for the first time since 1970.

Even the loss of their experienced defender Ricardo Gomes, who will miss the tournament because of a last-minute injury, has failed to dampen enthusiasm. He is likely to be replaced by Aldair or Marcio Santos.

The heat and humidity are also likely to work in Brazil's favour in a group which also includes Cameroon and Sweden.

'Brazil will play with style. We have no choice because that's the only way we know how to play,' Parreira said.

'Our only defensive aim is to get the ball back when the opposition has it. Once we get the ball, our players have all the freedom they want,' he said.

Russia, competing for the first time in the World Cup following the breakup of the Soviet Union, have been robbed of six players by a rebellion against the coach, Pavel Sadyrin, before the squad was chosen.

Sadyrin has no major injury worries but central defender Viktor Onopko, the captain, will miss the match because of a red card picked up in the final qualifying match against Greece.

BRAZIL (probable): Taffarel (Reggiana); Jorginho (Bayern Munich), Ricardo Rocha (Vasco da Gama), Aldair (Roma), Leonardo (Sao Paulo), Mauro Silva (Deportiva La Coruna), Dunga (VfB Stuttgart), Zinho (Palmerias), Rai (Paris St Germain), Bebeto (Deportiva La Coruna), Romario (Barcelona).

RUSSIA (probable): Kharin (Chelsea); Galyamin (Espanol), Gorlukovich (Bayer Uerdingen), Ternavsky (Spartak Moscow), Nikiforov (Spartak Moscow), Kuznetsov (Espanol), Tsymbalar (Spartak Moscow), Pyatnitsky (Spartak Moscow), Karpin (Spartak Moscow), Radchenko (Racing Santander), Yuran (Benfica).

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