A week 1 fixture against North Korea is beyond appetising and with 15 transfers to use in the group stages it makes alot of sense to bring a couple of Brazilians in for this week and move them later if they aren't hitting the highs of previous years.
The team has been fairly unsettled during the qualifiers so it is hard to pick the final XI but there are several players who should feature in early games and therefore deserve fantasy consideration.
Undoubtedly one of the top picks for this year's competition, Kaka is the only true world class attacking presence in the current Brazil squad and will be the lynchpin of everything they do. Despite not being regarded as having a great season, Kaka added 8 goals and 5 assists for Real this year and I like him to contribute goals and assist for this team too. The introduction of more steel into the Brazil midfield (Gilberto Silva/Ramires) should allow Kaka the flexibility to stay forward and lead the Brazil line.
Dani Alves (DF)
This pick is a riskier than it looks as the presence of Maicon makes it possible that one of this pair is benched. However, Alves featured alongside Maicon, taking his place in midfield, against Bolivia and Chile and his form for Barcelona should ensure his continued presence in the Brazil team. The wing backs don't play quite as an advanced role as Roberto Carlos and Cafu once did but nevertheless an increased clean sheet possibility (10 clean sheets in 18 qualifiers) along with a continued attacking presence should make Alves a top fantasy pick.
Luis Fabiano (FD)
Not a lock to start but has stated the majority of the qualifiers when fit and has been in good form for Sevilla this year (21 goals in 34). Someone in this team has to score goals as there is just too much talent to keep them down and with more defensive midfielders in the side, you feel they must come from one of the forwards. I find it hard to believe that Robinho plays all the games and with only four strikers in the squad (Fabiano, Nilmar, Robinho and Grafite) I think Fabiano gets a place in game one and becomes an interesting differentiator pick.
Possible First Team
- Julio Cesar
- Gilberto Silva
- Dani Alves
- Felipe Melo
- Luis Fabiano
It appears to be safe that Brazil will escape from a tricky group and then see off the runner up of Group H (Switzerland/Chile/Honduras) to make the quarter finals. With no upsets they would then face the Netherlands and I can see Brazil losing there. The team is solid and I'm totally on board the 'team concept' but they just lack the weapons that some of the previous Brazil teams, and other squads this year have. It's easy to back Brazil and I might look foolish here come July 11 but I'm not picking them to get out the of Quarters.
Stay tuned this week for previews on all the top teams in this year's competition along with some ideas on how to play the strategy of the game.