Brazil World Cup Preview & Analysis: Schedule, Roster & Projections

Brazil World Cup Preview & Analysis: Schedule, Roster & Projections article feature image

Pictured: Neymar.

  • Brazil enters the World Cup as the betting favorite.
  • Will Neymar be able to carry his team to victory?
  • Read on for a full preview of the Brazil team that will compete at the World Cup.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has arrived, and Action Network's staff of soccer experts are here to take you through each and every team that will be participating. 

Read on for a full breakdown of Brazil ahead of the tournament, and click here for analysis on each of the other 31 teams.

Brazil World Cup Preview

Your 2022 World Cup tournament favorites are Brazil. They are deserving favorites because they are one of only a few countries with no weaknesses at any position on the pitch. 

Brazil have two of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League in Liverpool’s Alisson and Manchester City’s Ederson. They have two of the best center backs playing at two of the biggest clubs in the world in Marquinhos at PSG and Éder Militão at Real Madrid. Brazil also have two of the most experienced defensive midfielders in world football in Casemiro and Fabinho, in addition to ball-controlling attacking midfielders in Bruno Guimarães and Lucas Paquetá. 

Then, there is the attacking flair we always see with Brazil, and you will not find more depth of talent in attack than in the current Brazilian squad. Their main man Neymar has battled through injuries ever since making his move to PSG, but he is in the form of his life this season in the French capital. What is crazy is he may not be Brazil’s best attacking player anymore because of the emergence of Vinicius Junior. 

Chances To…Action Projectionsbet365 Odds
Win Group Stage67.00%-275
Advance To Knockout Round90.37%-900
Win World Cup17.66%+400
Odds as of publish. Action projections by Nick Giffen of the Action Predictive Analytics team.

He broke out last season for Real Madrid and has turned into a star in the world of football, commanding a $120 million transfer value, which is third highest in the world behind only Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland. Beyond that, Brazil have a plethora of options to play on the right, whether it's Barcelona’s Raphinha, Real Madrid’s Rodrygo or Tottenham’s Richarlison. No matter what combination shows up, this is an absolutely frightening attack to deal with. 

Brazil finished atop South American World Cup Qualifying, winning 14 of their 17 matches. Their only loss since the 2018 World Cup in a non-friendly match came in the 2021 Copa America final against Argentina. What was most impressive about Brazil since the 2018 World Cup has been their defense. Brazil averaged 2.12 xG per 90 minutes in World Cup Qualifying and Copa America, which is to be expected given their attacking talent, but their defense only allowed 0.74 xG per 90 minutes, which is incredibly impressive given the attacking talent across South America. 

There is simply no excuse for Brazil not to take home the 2022 World Cup. 

Key Player: Neymar

Neymar has been Brazil’s main man up front for a long time, but there have been some question marks surrounding him over the past few years given the fact that he’s been injured and has not played at the level we saw during the glory years at Barcelona. 

He has always been a goal-scoring threat, but over the past year, he’s been one of the best facilitators on the planet. Neymar has averaged 0.50 xAssists per 90 minutes in Ligue 1, which is in the 99th percentile among Europe’s top five leagues. He also is putting up a 0.56 xG per 90 minute scoring rate this season, so on average, he’s contributing to a goal per match.

Neymar has scored an astonishing 75 goals in 121 appearances for Brazil and is two behind Pele for the all-time record in Brazil. He will likely be at the top in Tite’s 4-3-3 and will be asked to be the one creating most of the chances. Given the form he is in at PSG right now, I have no doubts Neymar is going to be one of the favorites to take home the Golden Ball. 

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Tactical Analysis

Tite has been at the helm of Brazil since 2016, and by now, it’s pretty clear what Brazil’s tactics are. They are going to play out of a 4-3-3, but the team’s shape will change throughout the match. It’s also very clear that Brazil want to play a possession-based style, valuing control over everything. 

Brazil like to use a lot of combination passing to move the ball up the field and rarely will play a long ball. They averaged over 500 passes per 90 minutes this year, and only a little over 5% of them were long balls. In fact, they averaged more lateral passes per match than forward passes.

What often happens when Brazil are in possession is they use a positional-based system that has allowed them to be much more structured. They also love to push the two wide midfielders up the pitch and squeeze the two wingers close to Neymar, which essentially creates a 3-2-5 with one of the two full backs pressing up to create a double pivot with Casemiro. 

Out of possession, Brazil press very aggressively, as Tite wants them to win the ball back as soon as possible. The press in unison with a high block aims to overwhelm the opposing center backs and midfielders into a mistake so they can quickly transition into a counter attack with the pace they have up front.

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Brazil World Cup Schedule

Serbia2 p.m. ET, Nov. 24
Switzerland11 a.m. ET, Nov. 28
Cameroon2 p.m. ET, Dec. 2

Most Recent World Cup Result

Quarterfinals (2018)

Brazil drew Switzerland in their opening match before rattling off three consecutive 2-0 wins to reach the quarterfinals. There, they were overpowered by a solid Belgian squad, losing 2-1.

Brazil World Cup Roster

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