The prestigious FIFA World Cup is set to commence from mid-June and the participating nations have already started announcing the 23-man squad.
Brazil, the record five-time champions, had a traumatic 2014 campaign where they were thrashed 7-1 by Germany in the semi-final of the competition in their own backyard. They, however, seem to be a rejuvenated force this term under new manager Tite, who is lucky to have a bunch of promising names who have flourished in the last four years.
They have been grouped alongside Serbia, Costa Rica and Switzerland and therefore, expect them to make it to the knockouts without too much trouble.
The gaffer lined them up in a 4-3-3 setup during international friendlies and the Selecao boss is unlikely to alter the pattern in Russia as well.
Strongest Brazil XI
Although Ederson had a remarkable Premier League-winning campaign with Manchester City, Alisson too enjoyed an impressive season with AS Roma and has been preferred between the sticks by Tite. He should retain his place because of his international experience.
A nightmarish injury at Paris St-Germain has ruined Alves’ World Cup hopes but this couls pave the way for Danilo, the Manchester City right-back, who enhanced his quality and played his part in City’s record-breaking title triumph.
The 24-year-old PSG centre-back has emerged in recent years and should be preferred over the experienced Thiago Silva, who has struggled with injuries and consistency. Tite rates Marquinhos highly and must hand him opportunities in the heart of the Selecao backline.
The veteran Brazilian had an incredible league season with Inter Milan and should make his way back into Brazil’s first-team plans for the big event.
One of the most experienced Brazilians who will have added responsibilities this term. He must concentrate more on his defensive work-rate alongside tremendous attacking flair.
Has become a shield for both club and country but the Real Madrid midfielder’s real test will begin next month when he features in the biggest event of his football career.
Was a forgotten name during his nightmarish spell at Spurs but redefined himself after moving to Barcelona. Will have a major role to play.
Philippe Coutinho (LCM)
One of the biggest names in Brazilian football who has flourished significantly in the past four years. His sheer excellence is one of the reasons why the Selecao are one of the favourites to lift the title.
Douglas Costa (RW)
The Bayern Munich winger had a successful season with the Serie A champions Juventus, has made it to the travelling squad for Russia and should be preferred down the right-wing due to his energetic runs, crosses, cut-ins and link-up play.
The ‘Poster Boy’ of Brazilian football missed months of action due to a foot injury but is set to return to action next month against Croatia in a warm-up match and must make himself fit enough to guide his nation to World Cup glory.
Gabriel Jesus (ST)
There has been a lot of debate over who should be preferred between Gabriel Jesus and Firmino. The latter’s all-round ability makes him a popular option but Brazil require a target-man inside the box in Tite’s set-up and Jesus, known for his goal-poaching traits, should be given a nod over anyone else next month.