Brazil starting XI for FIFA 2018 World Cup

4) Defenders and Goalkeeper

On current form, Ederson has been by far the best goalkeeper in Europe this season. The Brazilian has comfortably solved City’s goalkeeping problems, especially after Bravo’s travails last season. Therefore, it would be bizarre to see Ederson warming the bench in Russia. Roma’s Alisson would be the preferred backup, given his fine performances for the Italians this season. Marcelo is regarded by many as the best left-back in the world. The Real Madrid defender once again proved his class against PSG and will be an asset for the Selecao in the summer as well. The other flank will be covered by PSG’s evergreen DaniAlves, who at 33, still looks full of energy. The duo will not only provide the much needed experience but also some of the best attacking threat going forward. Thiago Silva and David Luiz were the preferred pairing in last world cup and would likely retain their position, partly because the country has not produced any player of similar talent.

3) Midfielders

Few players have had such remarkable turn in fortunes like Paulinho. From failing to make it at Spurs in the Premier league to becoming a quintessential player for Barca, Paulinho has turned the tide. Moreover, he has performed superbly for the Catalans despite many citing his transfer as a panic buy. However, he has responded with 8 goals, which is an impressive figure for a midfielder. Casemiro would be the perfect foil for Paulinho, given his defensive stability. Casemiro is at the heart of Madrid’s midfield, and will have the same task for the national side. Philippe Coutinho would surely take the no 10 position. There are only few better than the former Liverpool man in his position with his long-range shots and ability to create chances out of nothing. If Coutinho is provided the same freedom, Brazil would surely have many chances of outscoring the opposition.

2) Attackers

The left wing position will be occupied by Neymar. The world’s most expensive player was already his country’s talisman in the last edition, when his absence was a turning point in Brazil’s quest for winning the title. Neymar would be keen on making the same kind of impact, especially if he wishes to be counted amongst the likes of Messi and Ronaldo. On the right wing would be Chelsea’s Willian. Despite not featuring as prominently as he would like for the Blues, he remains a pivotal figure and a consistent performer. His work-rate too would be a valuable asset. The no 9 position will be contested between Firmino and Jesus, both of whom are one of the best strikers in the Premier league. Firmino might likely miss out though, given Jesus’ connection with Neymar. Nevertheless, attack is one part where Brazil are definitely going to be most competitive.

1)Starting XI

GK – Ederson

LB – Marcelo

CB – Thiago Silva

CB – David Luiz

RB – DaniAlves

DM – Casemiro

DM – Paulinho

AM – Philippe Coutinho

LW – Neymar

CF – Gabriel Jesus

RW – Willian