WILL Brazil banish last year's humiliating World Cup campaign to be crowned continental champions? Tim Vickery (@Tim_Vickery) and Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) talk you through their chances of success.
- Outright Winner: 10/3 (William Hill)
- Group C Winner: 8/13 (BetVictor)
- Top-Two Group C Finish: 1/10 (SkyBet)
- Highest Scoring Team: 3/1 (SkyBet)
- Form Post-World Cup: W8-D0-L0
Tim Vickery's View[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206967570?secret_token=s-ocYw1″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]
Mark O'Haire's View
I tried ever so hard not to mention it but there’s a mighty big elephant in the room whenever Brazil get brought up in conversation. You know what I’m hinting at, right? 8th July 2014. Belo Horizonte. World Cup hosts and tournament favourites Brazil 1 Germany 7 (SEVEN). We’ll never see anything like it in our lifetimes again…
The head honchos at the Brazilian FA would lead you to believe that Copa America would be the Selecao’s resurrection and drawing a line under that debacle. But truth is, folk like us will be discussing that defeat a long time after we leave this planet. So what’s happened since?
A controversial choice was bringing pragmatic coach Dunga back into the fold for a second stint in charge of the nation he captained to 1994 World Cup glory. But Brazil have won all eight friendly internationals under his watch and across his two spells in the dugout, Dunga’s overseen W49-D12-L6 – a 73% win ratio – and those results include Copa America success in 2007.
Defensive solidity has once again been the base from which Dunga has built his success. Brazil have conceded just two goals in eight games since his arrival, keeping six clean sheets in their eight outings. And in 28 competitive outings in his previous stint, the Selecao kept 15 clean sheets. There’s form in that department.
The basics remain the same too. They’re far more functional than flashy, they’re aggressive without the ball, more compact and patient, opting to wait for the counter-attack opportunity before breaking with pace and purpose. Skipper Neymar, fifth on the all-time scorers list, provides the joga bonito moments but their a side more easily modelled on a machine rather than anything sexy, adventurous or seductive.
There are concerns in the Brazilian camp, mind. What happens when the team go a goal down? Do they possess enough guile, adventure and subtlety to unlock stubborn, deep defences? Hoffenheim’s Robeto Firmino has made a positive impact as Fred’s long-term replacement but are they a little too dependent on Neymar to supply the goods?
For a nation obsessed by results and silverware, Brazilians will demand and expect success. The eight friendly wins will count for zip if Dunga’s 2015 team fail to fight for top honours but out of all the 12 competing countries, the Selecao appear the most balanced, with the least concerns and question marks and available at a backable outright price.
The View From The Inside
“Dunga has repeatedly said he is prioritising qualification for Russia 2018, but make no mistake: Brazil is a nation obsessed with results – and the public expect victory, particularly after Dunga has led the Selecao to eight consecutive victories since his appointment following last year’s World Cup.
I expect Brazil to top their group. From then on, the biggest threats will come from Argentina and Chile. The hosts have what is probably the best side in the country’s history and will be desperate to win their long-overdue first Copa America crown. They pose a real threat, but then Brazil always beat Chile. If pushed, I’d have Brazil as overall favourites for the tournament.”
– Rupert Fryer (@Rupert_Fryer) – English-language editor of Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour
- Brazil vs Peru | 14th June 2015 | 22.30 | Premier Sports
- Brazil vs Colombia | 18th June 2015 | 01.00 | Premier Sports
- Brazil vs Venezuela | 21st June 2015 | 22.30 | Premier Sports
Brazil Form & Stats
|Last 10 Competitive Games||W6-D2-L2||Last 20 Competitive Games||W11-D6-L3|
|0-0 Draw||1/10||0-0 Draw||4/20|
|Over 1.5 Goals||9/10||Over 1.5 Goals||16/20|
|Over 2.5 Goals||8/10||Over 2.5 Goals||14/20|
|Over 3.5 Goals||4/10||Over 3.5 Goals||7/20|
|Over 4.5 Goals||3/10||Over 4.5 Goals||4/20|
|Both Teams To Score||7/10||Both Teams To Score||11/20|
|Fail To Score||2/10||Fail To Score||5/20|
|Clean Sheet||2/10||Clean Sheet||6/20|
|HT Draw||3/10||HT Draw||7/20|
|Over 1.5 Team Goals||6/10||Over 1.5 Team Goals||12/20|
|Win + Both Teams To Score||5/10||Win + Both Teams To Score||7/20|
*All stats and form correct until 30 May 2015*