What Are Brazil’s Chances of Success in Russia?

It would be safe to say that Brazilian football hit rock bottom after the humiliation at the hands of Germany in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.

A 7-1 humbling in Belo Horizonte marked the end of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s reign and saw former Brazil midfielder Dunga charged with the task of bringing back the good times.

However the 53-year-old failed to inspire his men and, playing a defensive-minded system alien to the South American nation, they were eliminated from the 2015 Copa America by Paraguay before suffering the embarrassment of not even making the knockout stage of the Copa America Centenario the following year.

That saw the end of Dunga’s time in charge and the CBF turned to Adenor Leonardo Bacchi – commonly known at Tite – who had recently enjoyed a successful third spell in charge of Corinthians.

The 55-year-old set about making small changes to the way the side played and took the decision to recall former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho – out of favour under Dunga.

The selection raised a few eyebrows as the 28-year-old now plies his trade in China with Guangzhou Evergrande, but the doubters have been made to eat their own words with nine straight victories under Tite’s leadership.

The Seleção have already secured a place at the 2018 World Cup having taken 33 points from 14 qualifying games and, with Neymar the undoubted superstar of the side, they must be considered as one of the favourites to lift the trophy in Russia.

The 25-year-old Barcelona forward is a goalscoring machine at international level and has already bagged 52 from 77 outings and, for those who like a punt on international football, check out the Bet365 current free bet offers for all the markets available on the World Cup.

His fitness and form will be key to Brazil’s chances next year but the squad has a strong feel to it with several English-based players.

Chelsea’s Willian, Manchester City’s Fernandinho and Liverpool duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are all likely to play in Russia while, away from the Premier League, defensive stalwarts Thiago Silva, Marcelo and Filipe Luis provide a solid rearguard for Tite to work with.

Comparisons with the last World Cup-winning Brazil side will obviously be made but, while there have been massive strides taken over the past few months, they have a long way to go before being spoken about in the same breath as Scolari’s 2002 vintage.

The veteran tactician had the likes of Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Gilberto Silva and Roberto Carlos to call upon, while stars such as Kaka and Juninho had to make do with a place on the bench.

It was a star-studded side that feared nobody and could call on individual brilliance to turn a game.

That said, if you do fancy the national side’s chances next year, you may wish to check out sites like bonuscode.co.uk for all the latest free bet offers.

The current Brazil side is undoubtedly more about the collective but with Neymar the undoubted focal point and the one man who can unlock a defence on his own.

He will need help in Russia, with Germany and Spain certain to be strong, but, if the likes of Coutinho and Paulinho can maintain their form, there is no reason to suggest that the men in yellow will not be there or there abouts when the dust settles on the world’s greatest tournament.

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