Brazil World Cup Line Up Projection
With three months until the first ball will be kicked at the World Cup, Brazil have one friendly left before they make their final decision of who makes the squad. The Seleçao manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, has improved the chemistry between the players since his appointment in November of 2012. Major concerns of how to produce goals and how to defend against teams have been quieted, especially with their near perfect performance at the Confederations Cup final against defending world champs Spain.
The Brazilians have their solid defense containing Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, and Marcelo in order. There is a slight concern over Luiz and his lack of games at Chelsea, but that does not seem to shake Scolari. Their midfield was a concern before he installed Luiz Gustavo in front of the back four so that they weren’t left so exposed. Paulinho and Oscar make up the attacking side of midfield. The attacking trident has been somewhat stable with Neymar and Hulk on the wings and Fred as the classic No. 9.
Fred suffered a long term injury back in September and is only now getting a game. Scolari believes he should get back into the swing of things but many criticize the excessive belief the manager is bestowing upon striker. Many believe he should experimented during the last friendly before June.
New names called up for the friendly against South Africa are Fernandinho of Manchester City and Rafinha of Bayern Munich. The former is given a chance to show what he can contribute as a substitute behind Luiz Gustavo in the defensive midfield role, if he fails to show up there are the likes of Lucas Leiva of Liverpool and Fernando of Shakhtar Donetsk waiting on the wings to take that position.
Rafinha is in after an impressive season under Pep Guardiola at Bayern. Essentially, the right back is trying out for the understudy of Dani Alves. This is his first call up since 2008 and is in competition with Maicon of AS Roma for one of the last spots on the squad for the summer tournament.
Alejandro de Jesús is a contributing football writer for Rant Sports. You can follow Alejandro on Twitter: @geografoot