Brazil come to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar under the usual weight of expectation – the best team in the world and favorites to win. It’s been 20 years since the Seleção Canarinho have lifted the trophy. This Brazil vs Serbia world Cup opener could be a cheeky tester.
Brazil vs Serbia World Cup Group G qualifying match
Lusail Stadium, Qatar 2022
Thursday 24 November, 14.00 US EST, 19.00 GMT, 22.00 local time
FIFA #1-ranked Brazil open their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign against Serbia in Group F qualifying, where they will be eager to gain early momentum.
Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002, in Yokohama, 2-0 victors over Germany. In Russia 2018 they bowed out to Belgium 2-1 in the quarterfinals. It’s fair to say that on the biggest stages they have disappointed in major tournaments, but this might be their best chance yet going off recent form.
The world-class squad will be determined to bring glory home to South America.
Their first opponent, Serbia, failed to make it to Euro 2020 but are not in Qatar by chance.
Despite being FIFA world-ranked #25, they topped their UEFA Group A qualifying group, which included a 2-1 win over Cristiano Ronaldo’s #8 Portugal.
Serbia have the potential to be a dark horse in this tournament. Switzerland and Cameroon round out Group F.
Brazil Back to Winning Ways
Five-time winners of the FIFA World Cup, Brazil will be eager to add a sixth star to their nation’s crest come December.
Although their last performance in a major international tournament saw them lose the 2021 Copa America final 1-0 to Argentina, Tite’s team finished top of CONMEBOL qualifying, unbeaten in 17 games. Read that again.
Their most recent victory, 5-1 over South Korea, marked exactly 100 matches played since that horrendous 7-1 defeat to Germany in the 2014 semi-final in Rio.
Brazil, of course, are the team to beat in Group G. Serbia can make claim to the second spot, but will face competition from the Swiss and the Lions of Cameroon.
Players To Watch – Brazil
All eyes will of course be on Neymar, looking for him to set the world stage alight in a way he has yet to do in a national jersey. But the squad has massive depth.
Youngster Vini Jr, already a Champions League winning-goal scorer, will be eager to show he can handle the pressure with the world’s eyes upon him. With 17 goals in La Liga this season, the Real Madrid winger’s pace, strength and dribbling skills make him a must-watch act this November and December.
Liverpool defensive midfielder Fabinho will look to bring a calming influence to Brazil’s style of play. The 28-year-old has been superb since arriving in the EPL in 2018, helping the Reds win both the league and UCL titles.
Skipper Thiago Silva, the senior veteran, will as ever be instrumental at the back.
With two world-class keepers at Tite’s disposal in Allison (Liverpool) and Ederson (Man City), it will be interesting to see who starts between the posts and whether they can lay permanent claim to the 1 jersey throughout the tournament.
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Players To Watch – Serbia
Captain Dusan Tadic’s flair and creativity up front will be needed come November. The Ajax captain scored twice with six assists in the last eight international matches. His ability to make the people around him better can’t be under-appreciated.
Recently promoted Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will be hungry for more goals after an amazing season, Fulham winning promotion back to Premiership by winning the Championship. Mitrovic’s contribution? 43 goals, breaking the Championship’s 46-match season scoring record.
Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinikovic-Savic had a great Serie A season, scoring 11 goals with 10 assists. His awareness and judgement in midfield to make the correct play is a real strength.
Head-to-head: Brazil 2-0 Serbia, Russia 2018
These two sides have only ever met twice before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brazil has won both encounters.
At the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, qualifying Group E contained three of this year’s Group G teams – Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia (along with Costa Rica).
On that occasion, Brazil opened with a 1-1 draw against the Swiss, while Serbia opened their account with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica. However, after a 2-1 loss to Switzerland, Serbia faced the unenviable – and unlikely – task of needing a result against Brazil to qualify.
On the day, Paulinho and Thiago Silva netted to see the Seleção comfortably through, 2-0. After beating Mexico in the Round of 16, Brazil disappointingly went out to Belgium in the quarterfinals.
Serbia have never scored against the South American giants. Let’s see if they can change their luck at Qatar 2022.
How to watch Brazil vs Serbia World Cup Group G
In the US, on Fox Sports/FS1 at 14.00 (English); Telemundo (Spanish)
Fox Sports holds English-language rights, and will air all 64 matches live across the Fox and FS1 channels. All games will also stream live on the Fox Sports app.
NBCUniversal’s Telemundo holds Spanish-language rights in the US.
In the UK, on ITV at 19.00.
In the UK, the BBC and ITV share coverage rights, between them showing all matches. Here is the whole schedule for both channels – who is showing what, when.