Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

World Cup Preview - Group A - Brazil

Now that we've settled most of the business of the English domestic season, I'm starting my previews of all 32 teams in this summer's Brasil 2014 World Cup, starting with the venerable hosts themselves:

Nickname: “A Selecao”

Absurd FIFA ranking: 4th

Coach: Felipe "Big Phil" Scolari

Game Schedule:
June 12 – Brazil vs. Croatia (Sao Paulo, 4:00 p.m. EST, ESPN)
June 17 – Brazil vs. Mexico (Fortaleza, 3:00 p.m., ESPN)
June 23 – Brazil vs. Cameroon (Brasilia, 4:00 p.m., ESPN2)

Prospects: Brazil are our perennial second (or perhaps, third favorite) team, as those of us of a certain vintage still remember fondly the 1970 and 1982 sides that transcended mere football. Last year's Confederation's Cup win, which saw a young and thrilling team really turn it on inspired many of us to dream the "jogo bonito" dreams again. However, drab technician and former Chelski boss "Big Phil" Scolari has poured a bucket of cold water on those fantasies with his squad choice, which is light on the attacking flair (Fred? Jo?) and heavy on the defensive midfield stolidity. I still expect this year's hosts to banish the 1950 nightmares and triumph in the Maracana on July 13th, but it will likely not be as pretty as we'd like.

Key Player: Real Madrid's left back Marcelo is one of those rare players in world football who is as good at going forward as he is tracking back. Gooner and I marveled at his engine during a Brazilian demolition of the US side back in the summer of 2012.

Youngster to watch: Oscar is an established star at Chelski now, but Scolari will give him a chance to play a true #10 role.

Who Will Get the Goals: Neymar has been lighting it up for Barca all season and he's my pick for Golden Boot this time around - he'll certainly get plenty of chances in front of goal.

Who Will Get the Cards: Bayern's stopper Luiz Gustavo is known to leave the boot in.

Funniest Name in the Squad: Hulk - expect lots of Marvel-inspired tributes in the stands, especially if Brazil's stocky outside right catches fire in the tournament.

Prediction: Champions!


Blogger manunitedrules said...

Brazil are definitely my favorites to win the tournament. Big Phil will have them well organized and with the home support behind them , who will defeat them? They are the complete squad.

9:30 AM  

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