Brazil can blow opponents away with arsenal of secret weapons
While managers have been manically searching for ways to deal with Brazil’s star attractions such as Kaka and Robinho, a couple of Dunga’s lesser known – but equally dangerous – players may have slipped under the radar.
One such player is Benfica midfielder Ramires, who made a significant impression in Brazil’s 5-1 thumping of Tanzania with his first two international goals.
Noted for his tireless box-to-box running, Ramires is blessed with both excellent defensive and attacking attributes, and will be a valuable link man at the World Cup.
Ramires has been a fixture in Dunga’s plans and appeared in all five matches at last summer’s Confederations Cup in South Africa.
He heads into the World Cup on the back of winning the Portuguese title with Benfica, and he has also been linked with a summer move to Champions League winners Inter Milan.
While Ramires will have plenty of competition for a midfield berth, left-back is a position which has proved problematic for Brazilian managers since Roberto Carlos’s retirement in 2006.
The player likeliest to claim the spot in Dunga’s starting XI is Lyon defender Michel Bastos, who is one of the most improved players in European football over the past two seasons.
Following spells with Grêmio and Lille, Bastos has been in eye-catching form for Lyon this year, creating and scoring an abundance of goals, including a hat-trick against Sochaux.
With attacking outlets in every position, Brazilian goals should be forthcoming to say the least, and the Villarreal striker Nilmar should be one of the chief providers.
After banging in a hat-trick in the qualifying victory over Chile, Nilmar went on to head home the only goal in Brazil’s friendly win against England last November.
His intuitive movement and keen eye for goal mark Nilmar out as a candidate for a starting spot in South Africa, and he is 7/1 to be Brazil’s top scorer.
If Nilmar is selected alongside the prolific Sevilla forward Luis Fabiano, Brazil will be a team bursting with goalscoring potential.
And with a possible seven games to play, Brazil are a very enticing 7/2 to score 14 or more goals during the World Cup.