Brazil face an early test of their World Cup credentials on Sunday when they take on Croatia in a friendly to be played at Liverpool’s Anfield home.
It is the first pre-World Cup friendly for each nation, who both hope to excel in the Russia finals later this month.
And while Neymar is set to miss out, those present at Anfield should have the privilege of seeing a host of stars, including several players who shined in Saturday’s Champions League final.
Goal brings you all you need to know ahead of the friendly clash between the two sides including team news, squad predictions and TV information.
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
Watch Brazil vs Croatia live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial)
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
In the UK, meanwhile, the game will be available via LFC TV and online with LFC TV Go.
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Alisson, Cassio, Ederson|
|Defenders||Thiago Silva, Miranda, Pedro Geromel, Filipe Luis, Marcelo, Marquinhos, Danilo, Fagner|
|Midfielders||Casemiro, Renato Augusto, Coutinho, Paulinho, Fernandinho, Fred, Willian|
|Forwards||Douglas Costa, Neymar, Roberto Firmino, Taison, Gabriel Jesus|
Brazil star Neymar continues his recovery from a metatarsal break and will not start at Anfield, while Roberto Firmino is likely to be rested after his Champions League exertions, leaving Gabriel Jesus as the starting centre-forward.
The Selecao are also suffering a handful of injury niggles. Renato Augusto and Douglas Costa are struggling and are unlikely to play a part in Sunday’s fixture.
Potential starting XI: Alisson; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro; Willian, Paulinho, Fernandinho, Coutinho; Gabriel Jesus.
|Goalkeepers||Livakovic, Kalinic, Subasic|
|Defenders||Vrsaljko, Strinic, Corluka, Lovren, Jedvaj, Mitrovic, Vida, Pivaric, Caleta-Car|
|Midfielders||Rakitic, Kovacic, Modric, Brozovic, Bradaric, Badelj|
|Forwards||Perisic, Kramaric, Kalinic, Mandzukic, Rebic, Pjaca|
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic is yet to trim his World Cup squad, and will bring 27 hopefuls to Anfield before announcing his final list ahead of Monday’s deadline.
It remains to be seen whether Champions League final participants Luka Modric, Dejan Lovren and Mateo Kovacic will be risked, but there is nevertheless talent to spare in Croatia’s squad as they take on Tite’s Brazil.
Potential starting XI: Kalinic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Corluka, Pivaric; Rakitic, Modric; Pjaca, Brozovic, Kovacic; Mandzukic.
Betting & Match Odds
Brazil begin as clear favourites at Anfield, with dabblebet offering 1/2 on a victory for the South Americans. Croatia are backed at 11/2, with a draw rated at 14/5.
Click here to see all of dabblebet’s offers for this weekend’s international friendly matches.
As two teams packed full of stars, many eyes will be on Brazil and Croatia at the upcoming World Cup finals. As such there should be great interest in Sunday’s friendly at Anfield, a game that marks the beginning of preparations for both sides ahead of the big tournament.
Brazil head to Russia as one of the favourites to win the trophy, alongside Spain, Germany and France. The team spearheaded by Neymar has been revitalised since coach Tite took over in 2016, breezing through World Cup qualifying and re-establishing the Selecao among the world’s elite after the humiliation of the 7-1 and the dark days of Dunga’s second spell post-2014 World Cup.
The fitness of Neymar, however, is the big concern going into the finals. The Paris Saint-Germain star has been grounded since February due to a foot injury and will go into the competition acutely short of match fitness.
Tite will hope that the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Willian and Gabriel Jesus can step up, but recovering Neymar is still key to their chances of landing the nation’s sixth World Cup title.
Croatia, meanwhile, are counting on the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic reproducing their wonderful club form with Real Madrid and Barcelona on the international stage. The pair are among the world’s finest midfielders, but will have to shake off fatigue after yet another exhausting season across multiple competitions for the Clasico rivals.
Those two will be key, while they are ably supported by Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic and Marko Pjaca to name just a few of Croatia’s attacking stars. With a tough World Cup group that includes Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria, though, they will have to be at their very best to advance to the knockout stages and keep the World Cup dream alive.
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