ScheduleFriday, 6 June 2014 at 19:00 GMT / 20:00 UK / 00:30 IST
VenueEstádio do Morumbi (São Paulo - Brazil)
Next Friday, Brazil will measure forces with Serbia at Estádio do Morumbi in São Paulo, on what will be their third World Cup preparation match this year.
After reducing Panama to dust last Tuesday with a staggering 4-0 win, Brazil showed that they are enjoying a good moment and that despite all the criticism from pundits, they have everything in their favour to win the World Cup and add more silverware to their already quite busy cabinet. The Canarinha got the lead after a mild start thanks to a superb free-kick from Neymar. The goal seemed to somehow have woken the team up and Dani Alves netted in the second one five minutes before the break. With a two goal lead at the beginning of the second-half, Brazil continued to control the match throughout and the third and fourth goals didn’t come as a surprise. Even after the substitutions carried out by Luiz Felipe Scolari during the second-half, Brazil continued to dominate the match and enjoyed several chances to add two or even three more goals to the scoreboard. Neymar was the man of the match as he managed to put up an almost vintage display, quite different from his latest bland performances at Barcelona.
Understandably, there has been quite a big fuss surrounding the Brazilian team and their fans’ expectations are sky high. Nevertheless, Brazil showed nerves of steel during last Tuesday’s match, almost sweeping away the weight of expectation to claim a sixth World Cup triumph in front of their supporters.
Next Friday’s match against Serbia will certainly be different and quite probably far more complicated. Although the Serbs are going through a process of renovation at their National Team, they are by far stronger than Panama and they will surely pose a much demanding task to Brazil.
Serbia have failed to grant a place at the 2014 Brazilian World Cup by finishing third on their group behind Brazil’s next opponents, Croatia and Belgium. After having failed to qualify to the World Cup, Serbia’s head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic resigned and handed the helm of the team to another former Yugoslavia’s international, Ljubinko Drulovic, who is currently the team’s interim manager. Serbia are on a seven-match undefeated run and not even their disappointing draw against Panama last Saturday seems to have manage to pinch the team’s recent good motivational levels.
The clash between Brazil and Serbia will certainly be a very tight one. Although the current Serbia team is nothing but a shadow of the late 1980s’ and early 1990s’ strong Yugoslavia side, they might still be capable of creating some major difficulties to the World Cup hosts.
Stats: W-5 L-0 D-0
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Stats: W-3 L-0 D-2
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Brazil (4-2-2-2) - J. César - Rafinha - David Luiz - Dante - Maxwell - Fernandinho - Ramires - Hernanes - Oscar - Hulk - Fred
Serbia (4-4-1-1) - Vladimir Stojković - Dušan Basta - Nemanja Pejčinović - Branislav Ivanović - Aleksandar Kolarov - Nemanja Matić - Miloš Jojić- Lazar Marković - Zoran Tošić - Dušan Tadić - Aleksandar Mitrović