Given the shock of Germany’s elimination, Brazil’s comfortable victory over Serbia to top their group went slightly under the radar. But all things considered, Brazil are probably the only pre-tournament favourite to look anything resembling convincing. Tite’s outfit look defensively solid, having only conceded one (controversial) goal in the entire group stage. Here are my tips for how the Selecao can truly enter top gear.
Number one, retain defensive shape. Instead of trying to emulate the free-flowing attacking football of past Brazilian sides, Tite has played it safe by including both Casemiro and Paulinho in central midfield, providing a robust midfield shield. Brazil will face better attacks as the tournament progresses, so this structure must be maintained.
Number two, make the attack less rigid. Philippe Coutinho has been magnificent this tournament, and Neymar has had his moments. But I see Gabriel Jesus as part of their creativity problem. If Jesus is replaced by Roberto Firmino as a false nine, the movement of the Neymar-Coutinho-Firmino troika could rip defenses apart.
Updated Date: Jun 28, 2018 15:24:39 IST