BRAZIL | MEXICO | CROATIA | CAMEROON
Manager: Luiz Felipe Scolari
Captain: Thiago Silva
Fifa ranking: 4
Oscar, Neymar and Fred combine with rapid lay-offs and passes – with their home fans behind them they could blow teams away.
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.
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
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
Playing style: High-pressing
Strengths: Ability to split defences!
Weaknesses: Undecided team selection!
Star man: Midfield schemer Luka Modric runs the midfield like clockwork
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
For loads more World Cup gossip, exclusive interviews and expert predictions get this week’s Match of the Day magazine, in all good newsagents.