What are the chances of Brazil winning the World Cup in Russia?

When Brazil crashed out by seven goals to one against Germany in the 2014 World Cup, many of the team’s fans acted like the world had ended. This just goes to show how much football means to the country and its citizens.

And in many ways, the Brazilian national team is synonymous with the World Cup. Not only have they won the competition five times (more than any other), but they also hold the unique distinction of having competed in every World Cup since the competition started in 1930.

So can Brazil right the wrongs of their last awful campaign in 2018? Let’s see…

Incredible pressure

When it comes to football, pressure arguably weighs heavier on Brazil’s shoulders than it does on any other nation. Brazilians expect – and often demand – that the national team brings home the trophy. As Mauro Silva, a former defensive midfielder and 1994 World Cup winner, says on the FIFA website, “the more time that passes without Brazil winning the World Cup, the more the pressure increases”.

With the likes of Thiago Silva and Neymar in the team, Brazil’s players know how to pull it out of the bag in the big games. But back in 2014, the pressure to win on home soil was obviously too much and is perhaps a reason why they failed to do so.

Unpredictable defence

The thing about David Luiz is that he can be brilliant or terrible – depending on what day it is. He scored a brilliant free-kick against Chile in the quarter-finals in the 2014 World Cup. Yet a series of defensive errors – specifically by Luiz – cost the team dearly against Germany during an embarrassing 1-7 defeat in the semi-final.

But they look like a different team

As it happened, Brazil were the first team to qualify for the World Cup, which is a good sign for a side that failed to even make it out of their group at the Copa America 2016. Despite falling victim to a glaring mistake by the referee in their final game against Peru, the team looked to have taken a step back even further under Carlos Dunga. Yet Tite came in as coach after the competition and looks to have reinvigorated the side.

The current crop of players in the Brazil national team have always had quality, but Tite has them working as a well-oiled unit in his preferred a 4-1-4-1 system. £200 million man Neymar leads the pack when it comes to the new generation, while the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Phillipe Coutinho, Douglas Costa and Dani Alves provide a good mix of youth and experience.

Now most of the best-reviewed bookmakers for football have Brazil as second favourites to Germany. Bet365 and SkyBet both offer odds of 13/2, while Betfred has them at 6/1 to go home with the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Considering their current form and the fact that they have Neymar, we certainly wouldn’t bet against them.

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