Will the Selecao fail again against Europeans?

The sporting appeal of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is certainly a matter of opinion, but from the quarter-finals onwards at the latest, the action will be absolutely intense. From now on, there will be one cracker after the next. The first match is between Croatia and Brazil, and at first glance it doesn’t seem all that complicated to make a bet on this match.

The Selecao are the clear favourites with the bookmakers in this match and want to reach a World Cup semi-final for the ninth time in total. Only Germany has reached the final round more often. The record-breaking world champions should be warned, however, because since winning the title in 2002, the South Americans have been knocked out four times in a row by European teams.

In 2006, France was too strong. This was followed by defeats to Holland (2010), Germany (2014) and Belgium (2018). On three occasions, they reached the quarter-finals. The Brazilians want to improve this record on Friday and hope that a win will allow them to play a possible semi-final against their arch-rivals Argentina. First, however, Tite’s team will have to beat the runners-up

The Croatians do not have a particularly good record against South American teams. The Croatian side has lost four of its five World Cup matches against CONMEBOL teams. After their performances so far at this World Cup, this series could now continue.

Croatia – Statistics & current form

The heart of the Croatian team is getting on in years. The midfield has problems going at a high tempo, but the Croatians have a wealth of experience to make up for that. That means nothing can rattle them. Hrvatska know that they can still turn every game around. In their last eight World Cup matches, the Croats have never taken a 1-0 lead, losing only to France in the 2018 World Cup final.

Lags don’t shock Hrvatska

Drawbacks do not upset Zlatko Dalic’s team with strong nerves. Of the Croatians’ last eight play-off matches at a European Championship or World Cup, seven went into extra time. Three times Hrvatska even won on penalties. If there is still no winner in regulation time on Friday, then you should keep an eye on the odds for a live bet on a Croatian victory in the duel between Croatia and Brazil.

Honestly, it has to be said that the runners-up at the World Cup in Qatar only impressed in their match against Canada, when they prevailed 4-1. Hrvatska had a lot of luck against Morocco and Belgium in the preliminary round and also against Japan in the round of 16. Against the Japanese, it was Ivan Perisic who first equalised the 0:1 deficit.

There will probably be a maximum of two changes. Bruno Petkovic, who was not convincing in the centre of attack against Japan, could be replaced by Marko Livaja. Zlatko Dalic is also hoping for the return of Borna Sosa, who was absent in the round of 16 due to fever. Should the left-back be fit again by Friday, he will certainly be back in the starting eleven, replacing Borna Barisic.

Predicted line-up of Croatia:
Livakovic – Sosa, Gvardiol, Lovren, Juranovic – Brozovic, Kovacic, Modric – Perisic, Kramaric, Livaja – Coach: Dalic

Last matches played by Croatia:

WM Final Round
05/12/2022 – Japan (1)1 – 1(3) Croatia

World Cup Group F
01/12/2022 – Croatia 0 – 0 Belgium

27/11/2022 – Croatia 4 – 1 Canada

23/11/2022 – Morocco 0 – 0 Croatia

16/11/2022 – Saudi Arabia 0 – 1 Croatia

Brazil – Statistics & current form

If the Brazilians are serious, they are arguably the team to beat at this tournament if they are to become world champions. However, you have to rate at least seven of the eight quarter-finalists in contention for the title as having a chance. The South Americans in particular, however, will be in Qatar with a great sense of euphoria and the corresponding support of numerous fans. This could prove to be important in the final phase of the World Cup and for Croatia Brazil betting tips.

Selecao in title form

The South Americans are currently extremely strong on the road again. In the last 19 games, there was only one defeat. This defeat came against Cameroon at the World Cup with a B-team, after the Selecao were already certain to reach the last 16. Therefore, this defeat should not be overrated. When it comes down to it, the dancing troupe from Sugarloaf Mountain is at its best, which is why the forecast for the match between Croatia and Brazil is for a clear victory for the Brazilians.

It was top shelf football what the Brazilians offered in the round of 16 against South Korea. The Asians were already disenchanted at the break with a score of 4:0. Richarlison, Vinicius Junior, Neymar and Lucas Paqueta scored some breathtaking goals. The Selecao could afford to miss numerous opportunities in the second period, including Weverton’s third keeper, and still easily progress to the next round with a 4-1 win.

The Brazilians’ biggest personnel concern was whether Neymar would return from his ankle injury. We already got a convincing answer to that question against South Korea. Still, there are injured players in Alex Sandro, Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus. However, with the rich pool of world-class players, the Selecao can compensate for these absences relatively easily with regard to the Croatia Brazil prediction.

Predicted Brazil line-up:
Alisson – Danilo, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Eder Militao – Casemiro, Neymar, Lucas Paqueta – Vinicius Junior, Raphinha, Richarlison – Coach: Tite

Last matches played by Brazil:

WM Final Round
06/12/2022 – Brazil 4 – 1 South Korea

World Cup Group G
03/12/2022 – Cameroon 1 – 0 Brazil

28/11/2022 – Brazil 1 – 0 Switzerland

25/11/2022 – Brazil 2 – 0 Serbia

28/09/2022 – Tunisia 1 – 5 Brazil

Croatia – Brazil Direct Comparison / H2H Record

Croatia and Brazil have crossed paths four times so far. The first encounter took place in August 2005 in a test match that ended in a 1-1 draw. After that, however, the Selecao won the three following encounters. In 2006 in Germany and in 2014 at the home World Cup, the Brazilians prevailed in the preliminary round on each occasion.

It has to be said, however, that both previous World Cup duels were played on a level playing field. The last encounter was in June 2018 in a test match before the World Cup in Russia. In Liverpool, Neymar and Roberto Firmino gave the Selecao a 2-0 win, meaning Hrvatska are still looking for their first win against Brazil.

Croatia – Brazil Tip

The Croatians certainly didn’t offer any magic football in Qatar, as the Brazilians did at times. But Zlatko Dalic’s side are specialists in knockout games and usually win them in extra time or penalty shootouts. That means the Selecao should decide the game in the first 90 minutes.

But if we look at how strongly the South Americans played in the last 16, then they should be clear favourites on Friday. We can certainly imagine that there could be a clear victory for the record world champions.

The runners-up certainly have the qualities to make life difficult for the South Americans, but on balance we don’t think Hrvatska will be able to match the Selecao’s pace. Therefore, we expect Tite’s team to make it to the final and anticipate a clear victory for Neymar and Co. That is why we have decided to play the betting odds on a handicap win (-1.5) for the Brazilians between Croatia and Brazil

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