As the World Cup nears it will soon be time for managers of the 32 nations that qualified for the major tournament to narrow down their pool of players to the 23 that will carry the hopes and dreams of a nation to the biggest sporting spectacle on earth.
I will attempt to preview all 32 nations squads, and what better place to start then the first team in Group A - the hosts, Brazil
STARTING XI: Formation 4-3-3
Goalkeeper - Julio Cesar
The QPR goalkeeper might be old but in his case old is gold, there is little doubt that the former Inter man will be in between the sticks come July 13.
Right-back - Dani Alves
Another fairly obvious choice, Dani Alves goes forward just as well as he defends, but he has a tendency of getting out of position and for that reason there is an outside chance he could be replaced by Maicon, who is playing some pretty decent football right now with Roma.
Centre-back - Thiago Silva
If anyone in this team is a lock its him, Silva in my opinion is the best defender in the world and a rock at the back. There is not much else to say about the Captain.
Centre-back - David Luiz
This spot is far less certain than the other. For now I have the Chelsea man David Luiz in as the starter, but that could certainly change come July 13 with Dante and Marquinhos both playing well with their respective clubs.
If Luiz's form slips, both those two as well as two or three others could make a case for the starting spot.
Left-back - Marcelo
The Real Madrid full-back is a good bet to be the starter come July 13, but not because he is that good but because there are only two other viable options at left-back in Maxwell and Adriano.
Centre midfielder - Luiz Gustavo
The Wolfsburg man is one of the few members of this squad that lacks flair and creativity, but what he lacks in flair and creativity he makes up for it with his technical skills.
He seldom makes a mistake, and when your part of a team with so many creative players looking to get forward, that is a very good trait to have.
Centre midfielder - Fernandinho
A surprising choice for the starting line-up but certainly a good one. He is in excellent form for Manchester City, playing a role very similar to the one he would play in this squad.
If however his form dips, there are certainly other player to fill this role with Paulinho and Lucas Leiva being the two obvious choices.
Attacking Midfielder - Oscar
The Chelsea man is one of the most creative and skilful players in the world but lacks experience at the international level. Thats way some of the old guard like Ronaldinho or Kaka might be called upon to fill this spot.
Right Wing - Hulk
The player who they call Hulk may not always have the best attitude or be the smartest in possession. When he turns up to play his mix of size, speed, strength and skill is just too much to pass up.
If anyone else was going to take this spot it would be Lucas Moura.
Striker - Alexandre Pato
Pato - like Hulk - does not always turn up to play, but when he does he is a force to be reckoned with.
He is very talented, but his talent does not always turn into production, that's why he could be replaced by the likes of Fred or Jo.
Left Wing - Neymar
A virtual lock for the left wing role, Neymar is a very good dribbler, can score with both feet and is lighting quick. His downfalls being that it seems the smallest breeze can knock him over and occasionally he lets his emotions get the better of him.
If Neymar were to go down to injury his likely replacement would be Willian.
Goalkeeper: Diego Alves, Helton - Defence: Maicon, Dante, Marquinhos, Maxwell - Midfield: Kaka, Paulinho, Lucas Leiva - Attack: Lucas Morua, Fred, Willian
My Projected Finish: Third place
Brazil are many people's projected winners, I'm not saying they can't, I just don't think they will. My reasons? Full-backs who prioritise attack over defence, hot and cold strikers and most of all, I just don't think some of their players can hang with the size and physicality of some other teams.
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