Brazil and Croatia start their final preparations for the World Cup 2018 with a friendly at Liverpool’s home ground Anfield on Sunday, 3rd June 2018.
The Selecao had a rough patch after the humiliating the 2014 World Cup. A quarter final exit in the 2015 Copa América followed by a group stage elimination in the 2016 Centenario edition saw a major overhaul in the team’s background staff.
Tite is the man brought in to stabilize the ship and he wasted little time in bringing the team back to its very best. The former Corinthians boss boast a 79% win ratio with a +37 goal difference after 19 matches in charge.
It is not a surprise that they are one of the teams to beat in this summer’s tournament.
Brazil is poised to have an easy ride in Group E this summer, against the likes of Costa Rica, Switzerland and Serbia.
On the other hand, Croatia had to sweat hard to book their place in the competition. They finished second behind Iceland in the group stage before defeating Greece in the play-offs.
The Blazers, without a doubt have abundance of talent in their ranks and is not limited to Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. However, they lack consistency at this level and this is why they had to take the tough route from a group they were easily poised to win.
A tricky summer is on the cards for Croatia as they need to battle out with Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland in Group D.
Brazil Croatia Head-to-head
Brazil is unbeaten in the three overall meetings with Croatia, out of which, the latest two are in World Cup – 3-1 in 2014 and 1-0 in 2006.
Their first meeting was a friendly in 2005, ended 1-1 all square.
Brazil Croatia Predictions
The beauty of attacking football is back with Brazil and this is the least to expect of them considering the number of technically gifted players in the squad. They scored 10 goals in their last 5 matches, 3 or more on occasions. But the key point that stands out for me is the 7 clean sheets they kept in their last 9 unbeaten matches, an indicator of the hard work teams must put in to break through their back four.
Meantime, Croatia had struggled for goals despite having some of the influential players from Europe’s top leagues. It seems like the likes of Mario Mandzukic and Andrej Kramaric haven’t done enough to compliment the efforts of their skillful midfield. They have scored more than 1 goal in only one of their last 9 matches in all competitions. Their defense is a tad better, but this will be tested on Sunday night.