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Brazil and Mexico will progress from a difficult World Cup group

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Brazil

Heavy favourites in Group A, the five-time champions of the world are widely tipped to reach the final with a huge sense of expectation from their fanatical support after comprehensively beating Spain 3-0 12 months ago to win the Confederations Cup.

Their defence, so often the achilles heel of legendary Brazil sides of the past, is strong this year with Thiago Silva of Paris Saint-Germain - who is widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world - alongside Bayern Munich's Dante, who is excellent although error prone.

Paulinho, their box-to-box central midfielder, arrives back in Brazil after a decidedly average debut season at Tottenham, however the former Corinthians man has traditionally reserved his best form for the national side in recent years.

Brazil's creative midfielders are arguably their strongest asset, with Neymar, Oscar and Hulk providing chance after chance for striker Fred, who, although can finish, is far from world class. How strong would Brazil look had Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa opted to play for his country of birth rather than his adopted nation?

Brazil will win the group. A comfortable win over Croatia will be followed a slightly tricker win over Mexico and then a resounding win over Cameroon. Despite his poor debut season for Barcelona, I believe that Neymar will step up and perform for a country whose people are devoted to him.

Probable team:  Cesar; Alves, Thiago Silva, Dante, Marcelo; Paulinho, Luis Gustavo; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred

Mexico

I think that Mexico will progress ahead of Croatia in this group. They, along with Brazil and Germany, are the only country to make it out of the group stages in the past five World Cups, showing that they know how to get the job done in the early stages.

They have a young, fresh side who although limped through qualifying eventually beating New Zealand in the play-off, will play with excitement and flair backed up by their flamboyant and passionate fans. 

Although they will, I believe, be conquered by Brazil, I feel that Mexico are more than capable of beating Croatia provided they nullify the threat of Luka Modric, the Real Madrid playmaker, as much as possible. This, coupled with a straightforward win over Cameroon, will see them finish second in group A.

Probable team: Ochoa, Márquez, Reyes, Salcido, Moreno, Layún, Herrera, Fabián, Peña, Dos Santos, Peralta

Croatia vs Mexico will be the game of the group stage, as it will ultimately decide who finishes in second place in the group. Although I think Mexico will win it, it could go either way due to the presence of such dangermen in the Croatia side as Ivan Ratikic - 26-year-old midfielder who got 13 goals and 12 assists last season - and Modric who shone for Champions League winning Real Madrid.

One team has to finish with the wooden spoon in every group, and in group A this team is Cameroon. Although they have a talented side, I don't think they have the class to compete in what is a relatively tough group and with rumours of disputes regarding pay still ongoing, this World Cup could be a struggle for the Indomitable Lions.

Croatia danger man: Luka Modric
Cameroon danger man: Samuel Eto'o

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Topics:
World Cup
Brazil Football
Football
Mexico Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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