|Luka Modric and his teammates will try to stop Neymar and his on Friday in the quarter-final bout of the World Cup, who will come out tops? (Photo credit: FIFA)|
Here we go again with the next installment of the World Cup and this time, it’s the quarter-final bout between five-time winners Brazil and 2018 finalists Croatia.
Without any doubt, Brazil remains the clear favorite to win the title next week Sunday but they have to take it one day at a time and despite the gulf in quality, Coach Tite and the Samba boys will not underrate Dalic’s Croatian side.
Man for man, Brazil will beat Croatia in almost every department but football can be surprising and the tournament in Qatar has proven that anyone can be beaten at any point, not less the ever-erratic knockout rounds.
It was at this round that Belgium eliminated the Brazilians in 2018; in fact, Brazil has only made the last four just once since winning the World Cup twenty years ago on Asian soil where they triumphed over Germany to land their record fifth World Cup title.
Croatia labored past Japan in the round of 16 but can they hope on penalties again in the quarter-final against a free-scoring side like Brazil? If the plan is to wear down the opposition until penalties, Dominic Livanovic could have lots of work to do and that may include retrieving the ball from his net.
How will Brazil line up? No new injuries mean Coach Tite can rely on the same eleven that swept South Korea aside and knowing how Brazil grows into a tournament, shining stars like Neymar, Vinicius Jr, and leading scorer Richarlison can have a filled day.
How can Croatia stop Brazil? They have to be disciplined and mentally aware of the runs from midfield; Brazil employed the counter-attacking style against Korea and they may rinse and repeat against Croatia who will likely sit deep.
Coach Dalic will need more than Luka Modric to pull off an upset on Friday, he will need all of his men to maintain positional discipline and avoid unnecessary bookings, they are the underdogs and it will take a miracle for them to earn the last four ticket against Brazil.