World Cup 2014: guide to Group A

Read Match of the Day's quick guide to all the teams in Group A, featuring World Cup hosts Brazil, Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon

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BRAZIL | MEXICO | CROATIA | CAMEROON

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BRAZIL

Nickname: Selecao
Manager: Luiz Felipe Scolari
Captain: Thiago Silva
Fifa ranking: 4 

Strengths

Oscar, Neymar and Fred combine with rapid lay-offs and passes – with their home fans behind them they could blow teams away.

Weaknesses

Midfield nutter Luiz Gustavo is always a red card waiting to happen – he joined Wolfsburg last summer and was sent off twice in his first three games.

Star man

Neymar, age 22: Neymar was a 15 year-old scamp in the Santos youth setup when Brazil were picked as hosts back in 2007 – you get the feeling he was born for this tournament.

2014 squad lowdown

Most capped: Julio Cesar, 78 caps
Top scorer: Neymar, 30 goals
Most represented club: Chelsea, 4 players
Likely formation: 4-2-3-1

MEXICO

Formation: 5-3-2 (4-1-3-2, 4-4-2)

Playing style: Attacking

Strengths: Bundles of pace up front

Weaknesses: Sluggish in defence

Star man: Form striker Oribe Peralta recently hit 12 goals in nine Mexico games

CROATIA

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Playing style: High-pressing

Strengths: Ability to split defences!

Weaknesses: Undecided team selection!

Star man: Midfield schemer Luka Modric runs the midfield like clockwork

CAMEROON

Formation: 4-3-3

Playing style: Possession football

Strengths: Their warriors in defence

Weaknesses: Creating chances

Star man: At Chelsea, Samuel Eto’o only needed one chance to turn a game

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For loads more World Cup gossip, exclusive interviews and expert predictions get this week’s Match of the Day magazine, in all good newsagents.