International friendly: Austria vs Brazil – Lineups, Preview and Prediction
Brazil enters their final stop on the road to Russia as they face Austria.
15:00 BST, Sunday 10 June, Ernst-Happel-Stadion (Wien, Austria)
Tite’s men are on a roll at the moment heading into the World Cup having not conceded in their last five games and winning their last four games.
Last time out Croatia were dispatched with ease at Anfield as Neymar and Roberto Firmino scored to give them a 2-0 victory.
Prior to that, Brazil defeated Germany 1-0 thanks to Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus’s goal.
Austria may not be heading to Russia themselves, but they are building some momentum for the European Qualifiers later this year.
Six consecutive wins has been just the tonic to invigorate the nation after they did not qualify for the World Cup.
Last time out they defeated current World Champions Germany 2-1, while Russia were defeated 1-0 before that.
This will not be a walk in the park for Brazil and Austria have the chance to dent yet another opponent’s World Cup preparations.
Austria defeated Germany last time out so it is likely that they will call upon the same side to try and defeat Brazil.
Marko Arnautovic started up front and he should continue that role against Tite’s men. Hinteregger scored his third international goal against Germany and should keep his place in the side.
Brazil have such a breadth of options it is almost impossible to decide who will play. Coutinho, Augusto, and Paulinho could lineup in central midfield which will allow the side to have more creativity coupled with two sitting midfielders.
Firmino, Jesus, and Neymar represent a tantalising front three that will scare every side in world football.
Defensively Marcelo, Silva, Miranda, and Danilo will make sure that any counter attacks are dealt with comfortably.
Key battle: Marko Arnautovic (Austria) vs Roberto Firmino (Brazil)
Which player can assert their dominance on the game? The two Premier League stars are hugely important to their countries and their success are linked with the team’s success.
Firmino netted last time out against Croatia and he will target more momentum against Austria.
Arnautovic is potentially playing for a transfer if reports linking him to Manchester United are to be believed, so he knows all too well that this is his last chance to impress potential suitors.
It will be interesting to see which player can outperform the other.
Can Tite keep his team’s momentum going?
Brazil are one of the favourites, if not the favourite to win the World Cup this summer. Their attacking firepower and strength elsewhere make them a formidable opponent.
The key is keeping the momentum they have already build going, their previous results have been fantastic and they are heading into the World Cup as arguably the most in-form side.
A defeat against a sturdy Austria side would not be the end of the world, but it may prove that maybe they are not quite the tantalising prospect we all thought they were.
Prediction: Austria 0-2 Brazil
Brazil are currently enjoying a clean sheet run that they are not usually known for. When we think of the team we always see the attacking flair but a shaky defence.
This summer we may see a side that has both attacking fluidity and defensive strength. Those qualities should prevail against Austria, but they will be no pushovers in this fixture.
Listen to the RealSport football writers discuss Group C in Kremlins in the Basement: RealSport’s daily World Cup podcast.