Five time World champions Brazil will take on 2018 runners
up Croatia in the first quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Friday.
While Brazil stormed into the last eight with a crushing 4-1 win over South Korea,
Croatia had to edge out Japan in a nervy penalty-shootout.
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Here we have a look at the few things to watch out for in
Brazil’s blistering attack– Barring a loss to Cameroon in
the final round-robin game of group G, Brazil has shown skill and mastery in
breaking down the enemies’ defenses. The five time world champions from Latin
America will look towards their attackers, Neymar Jr, Richarlsion and Vinicius
Jr to provide the attacking fire power that can unnerve any side in the current
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Rock solid Croat defense – Croatia has been one of the
defensively sturdy teams, being one of the four sides to not lose a single game
at the present World Cup. Their defenders Borna Sosa, Josko Gvardiol and Dejan
Lovren will have to be at their best as they face arguably the strongest
attacking force of the tournament. 20-year-old Gvardiol has specifically drawn
attention for his impressive defensive show.
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Croatia’s devilish penalty record – Croatia had a terrific
penalty record in 2018 that has continued in Qatar too. They successfully came
back from 0-1 deficits in three games (two in Russia and one in Qatar), took
the game to penalties and won all three in the shoot-outs. Brazil will be wary
of the tricky Croatians with nerves of steel.
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Allison Becker versus Dominik
Livaković – Allison Becker has been a stable defender at the bars for
Brazil, having only conceded one goal against Korea. Becker will be expected to
be solid as the Croat attack with Modric and Ivan Perišić can prove to
be dangerous. Liviakovic on the other hand proved to be the hero for Croatia in
their shoot-out, saving three of the four spot kicks by the Japanese.
Also read: Who is Dominik Livakovic, former state secretary and Croatia’s goalkeeper?
Test of nerves – The match will turn
out to be a test of nerves for Brazil. Despite being a world class side, they
are yet to show their mettle deep in recent World Cups, despite having won two
gold medals in Olympics (2016 and the delayed 2020 Olympics in Tokyo). Croatia
on the other hand have shown their character and will be a very hard side to