Brazil World Cup squad guide: Full fixtures, group, ones to watch, odds and more

PROFILE: With the tournament only days away we take an in-depth look at all 32 teams in Russia

Jack Watson
Monday 11 June 2018 16:00 BST
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2018 Russia World Cup in numbers

Recovering from the humiliating 7-1 thrashing against Germany in their own back garden in the semi-final of the 2014 World Cup will take some redemption.

A friendly between Brazil and Germany was organised in March, which the South Americans won 1-0, and although Germany famously do not take friendlies too seriously, there is a case to argue Brazil are a much better team. Ditching David Luiz for Miranda and replacing Julio Cesar with Ederson or Alisson Becker means we are unlikely to see them concede seven goals in a game for a long time.

Neymar’s fitness will be key to Brazil’s success in Russia and the whole of Brazil will have released a sign of relief when the PSG star came off the bench against Croatia and scored a 69th minute goal in a friendly match at Anfield. It seems he will be fit to play, but whether Neymar will be at his best will remain uncertain.

Fixtures

Brazil vs Switzerland – 15:00, Sunday 17 June
Brazil vs Costa Rica – 13:00, Friday 22 June
​Serbia vs Brazil – 19:00, Wednesday 27 June.

Key players

Neymar: The £200m man is back – and judging by his performance against Croatia at Anfield - is nearing his best once again after a nightmare, injury-plagued few months. Brazil will go as far as Neymar’s shoulders take them but should he hit his straps in Russia few will be able to handle him.

Neymar celebrates his well-taken strike off the bar (AFP/Getty Images)

Casemiro: In the 2014 World Cup Brazil kept just one clean sheet before being dumped out by Germany. This was down to the defence primarily being shielded by Luiz Gustavo, however, this time Brazil have a very talented holding midfielder, who Marcelo calls a ‘life saver.’ Casimiro’s break up play made him one of Zinedine Zidane’s key players at Real Madrid and he will be very important in Brazil’s midfield.

Philippe Coutinho: A shock omission from the 2014 World Cup, Philippe Coutinho now has the chance to show Brazil what they were missing. Coutinho, who was booed on his Anfield return with Brazil, started slowly at Barcelona, scoring just three goals in his first 13 appearances for the side he joined for £146m.

One to watch

Gabriel Jesus: Four years ago Gabriel Jesus was painting the streets to celebrate the World Cup coming to town, now he has a realistic chance to get his hands on the famous trophy. Opposition teams are very likely to try and double-up and mark Neymar with two, which could create more space for the Manchester City forward to attack in.

How did they get here?

Amid all the chaos, Brazil finished top of the South American qualifying table, an early 2-0 defeat to Chile being the only time they lost in their 18 match campaign. Brazil manager Tite, took over mid-campaign and Brazil became the first nation to qualify for the World Cup after the hosts, Russia.

How will they do?

Brazil have a world class player in every position, sometimes two of them, and come into the tournament as some bookmakers’ favourites. The improved defence accounts for a lot of this, and combined with the firepower this side has, Brazil could be very good value to go on and win this.

Odd on winning the World Cup: 9/2

Squad

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Cassio.

Defenders: Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marquinhos, Geromel, Fagner, Danilo, Marcelo, Filipe Luiz.

Midfielders: Casemiro, Fred, Paulinho, Renato Augusto Fernandinho, Willian, Philippe Coutinho.

Forwards: Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino, Douglas Costa, Taison.

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