Brazil vs. Croatia: 5 Matchups to Keep an Eye On

Brazil vs. Croatia: 5 Matchups to Keep an Eye On

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The first game of the World Cup will feature the hosts Brazil vs. a young Croatia team with a lot of potential. Brazil have a ton of talent this year, but they are young at key positions. Brazil have been picked as favorites by many, but they will need to get over the hump of a decent group. Here are five matchups to watch.

5. David Luiz vs. Darijo Srna

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5. David Luiz vs. Darijo Srna

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Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

David Luiz is an interesting player for the Brazil. Although he is a defender, Luiz is one of the best scoring defenders in soccer and one could make a case that he could be a better midfielder than defender. It will be Darijo Srna's job to make sure Luiz doesn't sniff the ball on the offensive side of the field.

4. Fred vs. Ivica Olic

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4. Fred vs. Ivica Olic

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Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

One of the Brazil's strikers, Fred, has a lot of potential to do great things next to Neymar for the squad. Fred has a great boot and he makes sure to get back on defense too. Ivica Olic is an underrated fullback, but he will have a chance to shine against a real good Brazilian team. I'm predicting that Olic will have a big tournament.

3. Julio Cesar vs. Stipe Pletikosa

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3. Julio Cesar vs. Stipe Pletikosa

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Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Stipe Pletikosa is the goalie for CSKA Moscow, and he is a goalie not many are talking about. Julio Cesar, on the other hand, is one of the most decorated goalkeepers in this year's World Cup. This will likely be Cesar's last World Cup. Pletikosa, however, is just getting started.

2. Luiz Felipe Scolari vs. Niko Kovac

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2. Luiz Felipe Scolari vs. Niko Kovac

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As always, Luiz Felipe Scolari and the Brazilian team have high expectations for the World Cup, and that is fair considering they have a ton of talent and they are in their own country. Scolari has also been here for years, while Niko Kovac is new to the international scene. This will be Kovac's first game. He is going up one of the best managers in the world in Scolari.

1. Luka Modric vs. Neymar

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1. Luka Modric vs. Neymar

10 Brazil attacker Neymar
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Just like in the Copa del Rey, a good matchup to watch is Luka Modric vs. Neymar -- or Real Madrid vs. Barcelona. Both are the best players on their team and both can put on a one-man show. Even if they don't score a goal, whoever does more for their team will ultimately affect the outcome the game.

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