Coutinho gets egged by Brazil team mates on his 26th birthday

Aubrey Yates
June 14, 2018

The fun parts of the team are the players who surge forwards, dribble around opponents and score all of the goals but the key to this Brazil side is that they are balanced.

The Barcelona legend is another glorious playmaker to have graced the World Cup and to have scored a decisive goal in a final. They have plenty of options in attack with their Captain Fantastic Neymar, Man City sensation Gabriel Jesus, Willian and Roberto Firmino.

Barcelona midfielder Coutinho added the third goal shortly afterwards.

Alisson praised his team-mate for the way he has returned, as Brazil prepare for Group E matches against Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. Austria presented a similar challenge and indeed they showed that Coutinho's presence could leave them more vulnerable to counter-attacks.

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Petersburg, to begin their World Cup preparations ahead of their Russian Federation 2018 opener against Tunisia on Monday. It's the one competition everybody dreams of winning", he said.

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As for England, Owen expects Gareth Southgate's side to reach the quarter-finals.

Thiago Silva and Marquinhos are definite candidates to play from the start for Brazil with another experienced centre-half in Miranda as their next back-up. Their first choice right-back Dani Alves has been ruled out of the tournament with Danilo expected to start in his position. The earlier craving was to have at least one great leader in the team, Tite has transformed this side for Russian Federation, installing not one but many many leaders within the squad. He is now being linked with a move to a leading club, including Real Madrid, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Manchester City's precocious striker is likely to get the nod, despite his injury-interrupted campaign for the Premier League champions, and with a record of nine goals in 16 appearances the 21-year-old has proved he belongs at this level already. Brazil has one of the best training academies in the world that develops fundamentally sound players who impact the game on both offense and defense. "In the end I thought it might be getting too much for him so I took him off". He was signed by PSG for a whopping 222 million Euros.

Everyone remembers the 7-1 drubbing in the semifinals, but there were signs pointing toward a defensive meltdown before then. With goalkeepers such as Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, central defenders and central midfielders of the quality of Matt Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Shkodran Mustafi, Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos, this German team, like so many before it, will be very hard to break down. Casemiro, Paulinho and Fernandinho all possess above-average-to-excellent tackling skills, but are even better at cutting off angles to passing lanes left from the high press and reading where the threat of danger is on the counter-attack.

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