World Cup 2014: Why Brazil Are Odds-On Favorites

By Aydin Reyhan
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The host nation has the biggest advantage heading into next summer’s FIFA World Cup. They have one of the best squads, know the land well and  boast one of the most beautiful and faithful fan bases in the world.

The other nations have a long road ahead of them if they are to upset the home side. Brazil have one of the best front lines in the game: Neymar, Fred and Hulk. These three guys run from left to right respectively, and each brings his own strength to the game.

Neymar currently plies his trade at FC Barcelona in the same position. He is fast, tricky and has one of the keenest eyes when it comes to finding a teammate in the box or scoring all on his own. He is still ripe at the age of 21, which means that he still has some left to learn. Once he does, he truly will be a game-changer.

Fred plays in the Brazilian league, which is not as competitive as the ones in Europe, but he still manages to score against some of the best sides in the world. He scored goals against Italy, Spain and others en route to the Confederations Cup title this past summer on home soil. He was a very important part of that run.

Hulk is fast, strong and can hit the ball from almost anywhere inside the final third. He knows how to set his teammates up as well, and he is expected to be a key figure starting down the right flank next summer.

Almost every single defender on this squad can defend to perfection throughout the 90 minutes, score goals off of set pieces, or run up when the opponents have difficulty breaking down their possession game. In addition, the midfield can control the tempo for minutes at a time, which truly frustrates opponents. Therefore, these two aspects are set and done when it comes to big games.

Brazil are the early favorites to win due to their squad, coach (who won the 2002 WC) and home-field advantage which comes along with the fans. If they do not win this, something huge would have to go wrong.

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