Imposition of favorites increases pressure on Brazil and Neymar – 05/12/2022

There was no room for zebras at the weekend of the Round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar.

Netherlands x Argentina and France x England are the big quarter-final clashes already defined. Built with the strength of Dumfries, the genius of Messi, the irresistible explosion of Mbappé and the intelligence of Harry Kane.

Despite Luka Modric and world runners-up status, Croatia do not have the same weight of favoritism against Japan, who beat Germany and Spain and finished at the top of a group with two world champions. Duel of difficult prognosis.

Brazil x South Korea shouldn’t have been, but it was in the face of the unknown that turned Tite’s team. Due to the injuries and the apocalyptic atmosphere that has been created since the defeat of the reserves to Cameroon. How will the holders react? How will the last defensive line fare, probably, with Militão on the right, Marquinhos and Thiago Silva in central defense and Danilo improvised on the left?

And Neymar? Will the ankle be in a position to sustain the style of play of the Brazilian ace, always exposing himself to blows for catching the ball? Even coming back from injury, will the number ten assume prominence, like his PSG attacking teammates in their selections?

Will the team resume the intensity and concentration of the victories over Serbia and Switzerland? Will finishing efficiency be greater? In the last duel with the South Koreans, beaten by 5 to 1 in June. But now it’s a World Cup knockout game and Heung-min Son has evolved as technical leadership, in addition to the “shell” that he, his teammates and Portuguese coach Paulo Bento gained by surviving in a group with Portugal, Uruguay and Ghana.

No one hesitated in the round of 16. Will the five-time champion shirt confirm its presence, even under pressure?

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