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Dhaka Tribune

Brazil to carry South America’s hopes

Tite's Brazil have a wealth of options in all the departments

Update : 23 Nov 2022, 09:55 PM

It's now upto the five-time winners Brazil to carry the hopes of South America in the greatest show on earth one more time after a disappointing start by the other favorites from the region, Argentina.

The Selecao are way better than their continental counterparts on pen and paper, considering not only the latest FIFA ranking where they sit second in the world, but also the quality and depth of the squad.

Neymar will lead the side but there are more superstars to watch out for when they kick off their campaign against Serbia.

Amid the gossip regarding the possible line-up of Tite, their projected line-up was reportedly leaked last Tuesday.

The Brazilian boss has a wealth of options in the attacking third apart from Neymar, including rising Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior, Barcelona's Raphinha, Manchester United's Antony, Tottenham Hotspur's Richarlison and Arsenal duo Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus.

Richarlison started as center-forward in the last two matches with Paris Saint Germain starlet Neymar behind and Raphinha on the right wing.

Vinicius is also expected to start on the other wing according to the leaked line-ups.

One of United's highest profile players, Casemiro is almost certain to feature in the heart of midfield, with club mate Fred and Lucas Paqueta of West Ham United alongside him.

Fabinho is not a regular starter for the Selecao, but the Liverpool man has the potential to start for any other team in the World Cup.

The defence has Chelsea's Thiago Silva, PSG's Marquinhos, Juventus' Danilo and Alex Sandro along with Real's Eder Millitao, Sevilla's Alex Telles, while there is also the 39-year old former Barca defender Daniel Alves - the most surprising inclusion by Tite.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker is the number one choice between the sticks but Tite also has Manchester City's Ederson Moraes.

Brazil met Serbia in the 2018 World Cup group round too where they won 2-0.

Serbia, ranked 20 places below Brazil, is expected to be outplayed again, unless they cause another upset like Saudi Arabia and Japan.

But Tite's side has further goals, which is to draw an end to South America's longest ever trophy drought in the history of the World Cup, and clinch their sixth title – the hexa.

Since their last triumph in 2002 in Japan and Korea, they were crushed by European sides in the quarter-finals three times out of four.

On the other occasion where they reached the last four at home, they suffered a humiliating 7-1 defeat at the hands of irrepressible Germany.

This time though, they have an exciting team with Neymar perhaps peaking at 30, which is why many football pundits are tagging them as favorites.

There will however, be another South American side opening their World Cup campaign on the same day when Uruguay lock horns with South Korea.

It will probably be the last World Cup for veteran forwards Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, both of whom are at 35, but Uruguay also have Liverpool's exciting Darwin Nunez in the frontline, along with the wise head on young shoulders – Real's Federico Valverde, Manchester United's young star Facundo Pellistri and Tottenham's Rodrigo Bentancur.

The two-time winners lifted the inaugural World Cup, reached the semi-finalists in 2010, and finished fifth in the last edition, but very few are backing them as title contenders.

As things stand now, putting aside the potential upsets, the realistic hopes from South America are being placed on Brazil.

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