Brazil – the land of samba, carnival, the meandering Amazon and its equally sensitive rainforest – has a way of life like no other place on earth. There is a mixture of mysticism, the fervent devotion to Christ the Redeemer – ever visible from every corner of Rio De Janeiro and its Copacabana beach – and also the hip-swinging beats of the dancing Belles and the sips of refreshing caipirinha with a pinch of cachaça, sugar and Lime.
It’s an exhilarating life, always fueled by passion, beauty and a little bit of madness. Brazil’s football reflects this life too, attracting supporters from all corners with its twirling feet, swinging hips and a narcotic addiction to the ball – the “meu amor”.
And finally, on Thursday, practitioners of this fascinating art – far from home – will seek to attract the attention of the watching world. Brazil meets a rough and tough Serbia at the gargantuan Lusail Stadium, already a fallen shrine to neighbor and eternal rival Argentina.
Coach Tite, enlightened since losing in the quarter-finals four years ago, has the most outstanding squad at this World Cup – men of exceptional talent fighting for every spot. This is a side that has no place for Roberto Firmino or Arsenal defender Gabriel and will have Pep Guardiola’s keeper Ederson on the bench. The only regular at every World Cup since 1930, the experienced side of Neymar, Fabinho, Casemiro and Thiago Silva had amassed a record 45 points in 17 unbeaten qualifiers and are undeterred by Serbia’s firepower.
Only fools would take Brazil lightly and Dragan Stojkovic is no fool. He will return to a three-man defense after experimenting with four in a comfortable assist win over Bahrain. His full-backs Andrija Zivkovic and Filip Kostic will need to rein in their attacking natures to deal with dual threats from Gabriel Jesus and Vinicius Junior, while Neymar will float like a butterfly – and all three can sting like bees.
However, Serbia won’t be concerned about giving up big possessions. However, the team, trimmed for fast counterattacks, could miss goalkeeper and national scorer Aleksander Mitrovic. The Fulham forward is still not fully fit after suffering a groin injury.
Without such worries, Brazil, wary of the quicksand that has already swallowed some top-flight teams, is hoping that its passion and panache will allow it to end its 20-year wait for the title.
HEAD TO HEAD
Played : 20 | Brazil: 11 | Serbia: 2 | Tie: 7th
Won 5-1 against Tunisia
Won 3-0 against Ghana
Won 1-0 against Japan
won 5-1 against South Korea
won 4-0 against Bolivia
Won 5-1 against Bahrain
Won 2-0 against Norway
won 4-1 against Sweden
Draw 2-2 against Slovenia
Won 1-0 against Sweden
Brazil: Alisson – Danilo, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Sandro – Casemiro, Paqueta – Raphinha, Neymar, Vinicius Jr – Richarlison
Serbia: V. Milinkovic-Savic – Milenkovic, S. Mitrovic, Pavlovic – Zivkovic, Gudelj, S. Milinkovic-Savic, Kostic – Tadic – Vlahovic, Jovic
WHEN AND WHERE TO SEE
Where will the opening game Brazil vs Serbia kick off?
The game between Brazil and Serbia will be kicked off at the Lusail Stadium.
When will the World Cup opener between Brazil and Serbia kick off?
The match between Brazil and Serbia will kick off on November 25, 2022 at 00:30 IST.
Where can you watch Brazil vs Serbia game in India?
The opening game Brazil vs Serbia will be streamed live on Sports18 and Sports18 HD. On Android and iOS, the FIFA World Cup 2022 will be streamed live on JioCinema.
Where to watch Brazil vs Serbia game outside of India?
The list below shows where you can watch the Brazil v Serbia game outside of India:
United States – TV: FOX, Telemundo; Live Stream: fuboTV, Fox Sports App, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo
Canada – Television: CTV, TSN; Live stream: fuboTV, TSN app
United Kingdom – Television: BBC One; Live stream: BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website
Australia – TV: SBS; Live Stream: SBS On Demand
New Zealand – TV: Sky Sports; Live streaming: Sky Sport
Malaysia – TV: RTM, Astro; Live Stream: Astro Go
Singapore – TV: Mediacorp Channel 5; Live Stream: StarHub TV+, IPTV, Singlet TV
Hong Kong – TV: BeIN Sports, ITV; Live Stream: Now TV, ViuTV
Nigeria – SuperSport and Showmax Pro.