Group A: Brazil Vs Croatia – 11PM EAT
The hunt for the sixth World Cup championship for Brazil gets underway at the Arena Corinthians stadium in Sao Paulo when they take on Croatia in the 2014 World Cup opening game.
The Brazilians whose last championship came 12 years ago in Japan and South Korea go into the game as favourites with a gallant home record that dates as far back as 2002 when they lost to Paraguay.
Luis Felipe Scolari’s side have since played 37 games unbeaten. Such a formidable record added to the fact that no host nation has ever lost an opening game shift the power in Brazil’s favour. Reports suggest that little or no changes are expected from the Brazil side that won the Confederations Cup a year ago. Wonder boy Neymar Junior is expected to lead the hunt for goals alongside Fred and Hulk.
Meanwhile, Croatia will be without star player Mario Mandzukic who is suspended for the tie thus ex-Arsenal striker Eduardo is expected to lead the line. Real Madrid play-maker Luka Modric will be another star expected to give the home team hard time.
Both sides have only met twice in history and only once in World Cup finals with Brazil winning 1-0 in the 2006 event thanks to Kaka’s lone goal.