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fifa world cup 2014 football international football recent

Oscar or Willian : Whom do you prefer for Brazil?

Oscar or Willian: Whom do you prefer for Brazil?, Brazil midfielder
Oscar or Willian ; image credit bleacherreport.com

It is almost time for us. After a very few moments, Brazil will open the FIFA World Cup against Croatia at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.

At the beginning of May, Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari named his 23-man squad for the tournament. He did not pull any great surprises for the spectators. Like the definition, his team is as good as was proclaimed through the last 12 months.

But the thing that can’t be overlooked from the last two friendlies is the promising performances of Chelsea midfielder Willian. The 2002 World Cup winners must have thought about this great option. It is Oscar himself, who casted his Chelsea teammate into the limelight. The last two friendly matches are probably poling the position to take the central midfield role in front of Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho.

Willian Borges da Silva’s performances for Brazil have brought doubt over Oscar’s place in the team.

Under Scolari’s tenure, Oscar has never been threaten before like this. Some others like have already tried to make the Selecao playmaking role his own. Lucas Moura, Paulo Henrique Ganso and Philippe Coutinho are few of them. Now the greatest rival comes for him in the form of a player. He must also admit that the other one’s versatility has seen him make a sharp ascension to the national ranks.

Immediately after the Friday match against Serbia, Scolari said that his team is physically prepared. And he believes there is still time to prepare the side tactically before Thursday’s kick-off.

Definitely his plan will finally deploy either of the players between Oscar or Willian. But it is previously confirmed that with Oscar, it is more likely to bend towards the commonly favored 4-2-3-1 formation.

Oscar, attacking mid, number 10 Brazil
Oscar ;image credit pt.fifa.com

Oscar is far more inclined to get forward and aid Fred and Neymar in attack. And always looking for goals, more likely with double figures for the Stamford Bridge. Oscar truly has the ability to pries open defenses. Something like, with only one focused center-forward, he is definitely the key asset for the Brazilians during the World Cup 2014.

On the contrary, Willian is more defensively minded. Though his eye for a pass is also intact. Watching his displays last week, we can say that he gave all the right signals that he could be a fantastic midfielder for Brazil.

If we have to put an end to the question: Oscar or Willian, then he is likely to start in a more withdrawn role than Oscar, probably by resembling a 4-3-3 combination.

Yes Willian can pass, dribble and shoot. But the vital most thing about him, he is capable of tracking back and is willing to put in a defensive shift for the team. Paired with Paulinho in the middle of the park, they can make the opportunity to develop a potentially fruitful understanding between them.

And it is already proved that Paulinho can develop a better midfield partnership with Willian than Oscar.

As Oscar is always an advanced habitat, there is limited opportunities for Paulinho to burst forward. And if he is caught out of position, both Luiz Gustavo and the entire back line would be exposed.

Again with Willian in the centre of midfield, they can easily shuffle their position. The tactic is only feasible with Willian, not with Oscar. Obviously Oscar doesn’t have that kind of physical strength to compete in what could turn into a scrappy midfield tussle.

During Brazil’s last two friendlies, Willian’s impact was greater than that of Oscar. Oscar looked jaded after a long season and the birth of his first child. So for the circumstance, Brazil is likely more threatening prospect with Oscar had departed.

In a short competition like World Cup (with a maximum of seven games) Willian could well have the upper hand in Scolari’s mind.

Still Oscar is an established part of Scolari’s Selecao setup. As he was ever-present during the side’s run to the Confederations Cup crown. Everyone believes that he had done more than enough to merit inclusion.

May be Felipao’s philosophy admits for familiarity and confidence. And that has assured Brazil make such rapid progress under his tutorship. Back when he named this World Cup squad, Oscar was named with especial praise. Scolari has always described him as one of the best of the world. So, probably Scolari would have to be in a ruthless mood to decide, Oscar or Willian as he has to decide just one!!

But like every Brazilian fans, we believe that this team has grown together. Now they can win together.

Oscar or Willian: Whom do you prefer for Brazil?, Selecao setup
Brazil team ;image credit en.africatopsports.com
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fifa world cup 2014 football international football recent

Brazil vs Croatia: Neymar and Oscar turns the World Cup Opener on their favor

On Thursday evening The World Cup 2014 was kicked off with a bang. Brazil defeated their group A rivals Croatia 3-1 in an enthralling way.

The start was quite awful for the hosts. Marcelo had an own goal just at the very beginning of the match. But eventually they got themselves leveled before the half time. This was absolutely earned by Neymar’s scuffed effort. Then it was again Neymar, who converted a penalty for the Selecao to take the lead. Finally Oscar capped a magnificent display by poking a late effort into the bottom corner and take it to three.

Brazil vs Croatia: Neymar and Oscar turns the World Cup Opener on their favor, Brazil vs Croatia, world cup opener
Brazil vs Croatia ; image credit commons.wikimedia.org

Formations: Brazil vs Croatia

Brazil just started with the exact same XI that started the 2013 Confederations Cup final. For their usual 4-2-3-1 formation, Luiz Gustavo was held off the challenge of Fernandinho midfield. Also another notable thing about Neymar as he started as no. 10.

Croatia also started with their regular formation, with three exceptional playmakers Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Rakitic. Dejan Lovren was kept at the first eleven and Sime Vrsalkjo played out of position at left-back.

As it happened: Brazil vs Croatia

Belying Luiz Felipe Scolari’s year-long tradition Hulk started on the left and Oscar on the right. But it was not working well. Suddenly with Croatia bagging an excellent early goal, pressure grew at immeasurable level for the Selecao team.

As Neymar was playing as a No. 10, he was swamped out by the studious Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric. It was an easy job for them to shackle him and stop receiving balls to feet. Consequently this isolated Fred in turn and stumped the attack for the Brazil team.

On the other hand, The Vatreni were flying from the first minute. Olic burst forward inside the first minute and broke a challenge. It was a real threat for the defense. But the third wide attack was a genuine score.

It was Paulinho, who put his teammates in a real hole. Though there were a plethora of errors in the buildup to the Croatia goal. As he knows Ivan Rakitic has a runner (Olic) outside and a man free (Mateo Kovacic) to pass. So, the last thing he should do is dive in and “force” the action from the ball-player. Probably this was an example of how naive defending can kill you on the flanks.

Thiago Silva was also quite slow to come out. As David Luiz allowed his man across him, Marcelo scored an own goal. But the thing started on the Croatia half.

Eventually Brazil snapped out of it. Truly speaking, it wasn’t a systematic change that sparked the recovery. It was totally individual effort and determination that allowed Brazil to get back into the game.

It always happens for two same formation teams meeting together. Midfields are matched man for man. So it becomes tough to find space. An individual needs to beat a challenge to open it up and that began happening soon.

Brazil vs Croatia, world cup 2014
two goals for Neymar ; image credit commons.wikimedia.org

Paulinho first broke into the box and split the centre-backs. Soon enough, Neymar danced around Rakitic and hit the byline for a cross. Then it was the excellent Oscar who did the damage by laying it off to Neymar and letting the 50-cap wonder do the rest for the Selecao.

Oscar looked like the man of the Brazil vs Croatia match. He tried his hardest to make things happen and change the flow.

After going down, Croatia pushed forward and opened the distance between their midfield and defensive lines. They just tried to allow more players to attack.

Scolari also matched the strategy by introducing Hernanes and Bernard.

For the final 15 minutes, with space in the midfield allowing players to travel with the ball and take each other, it was astounding. Especially when it seemed as though Croatia could sneak a late equalizer, Oscar charged down the other end and punted an 18-yard effort into the corner to seal it.

Result: Brazil vs Croatia

Brazil 3 – Croatia 1