Match preview: Brazil v Croatia

Brazil launch their bid for a record sixth World Cup title when they commence their campaign against Croatia in Berlin on Tuesday.

    The entertainers ready for the show

    Should the South Americans' title defence be successful it will be the second time they have won consecutive World Cups.

    The 2002 champions start the tournament as raging hot favourites, but the players are aware of the problems that tag can cause.

    The song stays the same

    AC Milan midfielder Kaka was conscious of other teams looking to deflect their own pressure onto the Brazilians.

    "It is always the same. Brazil will win it. Brazil are the favourites," the 24 year old said.

    "But this talk of us being clear favourites is a bit exaggerated.
    "There is a strategy behind it. The other teams want to take the attention and the pressure off themselves."

    The elder statesman of the team, 36 year old Cafu pointed out that the world champions will be using the old cliché of "one game at a time" as much as any side.

    Kaka: Part of the fab four

    "All the teams at this World Cup are going to have problems winning and our first match will be tough,” the AC Milan player said.

    "Everyone says we will reach the final but we need to take every opponent as they come. 

    "And we know the whole world will be looking at this match to see what sort of shape we are in."

    The man responsible for managing Brazil’s galaxy of stars is Carlos Alberto Parreira.

    Parreira is something of an oddity in management as he never played football himself at a professional level, however he has already lifted the World Cup as a coach as he successfully took Brazil to the 1994 World Cup.

    The Brazilian has stated that he will play the much heralded 4-2-2-2 formation which will utilize the attacking prowess of stars Ronaldo, Adriano, Ronaldinho and Kaka.

    Their opponents though are no strangers to attacking football themselves.

    Keeping it in the family

    Like father, like son: The Kranjcars

    Croatian coach Zlatko Kranjcar was a former striker himself and has moulded his side, which includes his own son Niko, into one that reflects his own attacking instincts.

    The unbeaten qualifying campaign saw them score 21 goals and concede just five.

    The 1998 semi finalists though have had problems within the camp this week with a mystery virus infecting a number of players.

    All however are expected to be fit to play in what should be an intriguing clash.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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