Too much pressure on Brazil’s shoulder could prevent the players from performing at 100% in tomorrow’s opener.
The event of four years – the football World Cup – kicks off tomorrow in Sao Paolo with the hosts Brazil facing Croatia. There’s a massive weight of expectations on the Selecao shoulders with every home fan expecting their men to win each and every game and lift the trophy in a month’s time in Rio.
Bookmakers naturally reacted the same way giving the host nation the best odds for those who bet on sports in Brazil – 4.00 to win outright. And yes, in any given state Brazil are the favorites from any point of view. However, the expectations coupled with over-excitement could play a bad joke on Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men.
Why Brazil are the favorites
Even if we put aside the talent and amazing skills of the hosts, there’s still the massive support of home crowd and a brilliant manager who has already led the Selecao to World Cup glory. It’s not hard to understand why Brazil are the favorites in tomorrow’s game against Croatia with 1.34 odds from Betway.
Combining all the data about Brazil, it even becomes rather hard why even though they are the favorites, the Selecao were given pretty long odds to lift the trophy under Brazilian gambling laws. But of course, the competition this time around is especially tough and the weight of responsibility for the home event is heavy.
While everyone is getting more and more excited by the hour, there’s a downside to all the hype surrounding the hosts at the World Cup. The over-excitement and euphoria has already created too much pressure for Luiz Felipe Scolari and his men, and will continue to blind punters wagering at online sportsbooks in Brazil.
Players’ point of view
In a recent interview, Chelsea playmaker Oscar shared with the media that he and everyone else on the team are super excited to be playing at home. He said: “I don’t know who is going to be more excited, the players or the fans. Everyone will be together, feeling the same. Big emotions, excitement, euphoria, pride – and, we hope, joy.”
If fans happened to watch the most recent Brazil friendly against Serbia, they’d be able to see that the pressure has already taken effect on the team. Luiz Felipe Scolari played the number 1 team, but still it took them a long time to score, and they’ve only managed a single goal, while almost allowing Serbia to score as well.
Everyone was hoping to see the Selecao reveal their best football in front of the home crowd, but it wasn’t to be. Too many passes without destination, few super-creative ideas up front, and yes, Oscar has only managed to play 45 minutes before he was substituted.
The crowd even went as far as to boo off the team during half-time. The disappointing atmosphere continued all the way to the end, and even Fred’s goal, ending Brazil struggle, didn’t do much to change the overall feeling for better.
The history and the prospects
Right after the game finished, media was filled with experts’ opinions and speculations on who should be in the starting 11. Considering the fact that Scolari has been polishing the starting team for 18 months now, his opposition to adapting is meeting more and more criticism now.
Can the pressure put on Brazil team prevent them from winning tomorrow?
•Overly-excited fans and elevated expectations can play a bad joke on Brazil
•The Selecao are of course the favorites to win tomorrow at online sportsbooks in Brazil
•Recent friendly match, however, didn’t fully reveal their potential
Looking back over the years, only four World Cup hosts out of nine have managed to win their opening games, regardless of how they did at later stages. And Croatia is not known as an easy team, especially with great midfield and defense. Considering that Brazil will surely be applying lots of pressure, the Croats may get lots of chances on counterattack, making Bet365 odds of 11.00 for them to stun Brazil tomorrow and win a not so distant possibility.
But of course, Brazil’s poor performance against Serbia may be explained by Scolari’s tactical plan not to reveal all their strengths too early, and the Selecao can still crush Croatia in tomorrow’s opener. Neymar is of course the favorite to score the most goals tomorrow with 3.75 odds, and his chances of scoring two are also high with 5.00 odds.
Remembering last year’s Confederation Cup, we will be less worried knowing that Brazil are perfectly capable of taming their emotions and winning on home turf. But of course the World Cup is a whole different story, and the memories of 1950 failure will certainly haut the Selecao and their fans throughout this World Cup.
There are only hours left until the kick off at Arena Corinthians, so let’s wait and see just how well Brazil are prepared to live up to everyone’s expectations.