The World Cup favourites and one of the most highly fancied dark horses go head to head in their opening match in Qatar with Brazil taking on Serbia.

As is often the case, Brazil head into the tournament as the bookies’ top picks, being in excellent form and boasting an extremely strong squad that is expected to breeze through Group G.

Their first match won’t be an easy one, though, with Serbia’s class of 2022 being their best in a long time in regard to talent.

Here’s everything you need to know about matchday one’s final fixture.

Unlike so many nations, Brazil aren’t dealing with any major injury problems heading into their first World Cup match.

Bruno Guimaraes and Alex Telles have been dealing with minor issues, but both players are expected to be fit along with the rest of the squad.

Brazil Starting 11 (4-3-3): Alisson; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Sandro; Fred, Casemiro, Paqueta; Raphinha, Richarlison, Neymar.
Bench: Ederson, Weverton, Militao, Bremer, Alves, Telles, Fabinho, Guimarães, Everton, Antony, Rodrygo, Martinelli, Vinicius Junior, Pedro, Jesus.

The big concern for Serbia is the fitness of Aleksandar Mitrovic with the Fulham not having played in almost a month. Given his lack of game time, he may start on the bench.

Serbia Starting 11 (3-4-3): V. Milinkovic-Savic; Milenkovic, S. Mitrovic, Pavlovic; Zivkovic, Gudelj, Lukic, Kostic; S. Milinkovic-Savic, Vlahovic, Tadic.
Bench: Dmitrovic, Rajkovic, Erakovic, Velijkovic, Mladenovic, Ilic, Babic, Duricic, Grujic, Lazovic, Maksimovic, Racic, Radonjic, Jovic, Mitrovic.

With Switzerland sure to provide both teams with a challenge, both Brazil and Serbia will primarily want to make sure they don’t lose their opening match.

Given that, it could prove to be a somewhat cagey affair with both teams exercising caution to begin with.

That being said, Brazil should have enough individual quality in their ranks to keep Serbia at bay and score at least one goal, getting them over the line in their Group G opener.

Prediction: Brazil1-0 Serbia


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