Why Dunga’s Defensive Brazil is a Strong World Cup Bet

12th May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

One of the most popular directions in which betting money always goes to, is betting on Brazil at the World Cup. The five times champions of the World, go into the 2010 FIFA World Cup full of confidence, as coach Dunga has named his 23 man squad already. There is no messing about and waiting to see who makes the cut from a 30 provisional squad, for Dunga. Brazil are ready. Technically, physically and mentally. Brazil are Brazil, and the omnipresent World Cup nation is ready to reclaim its world status, after climbing back to the top of the FIFA World Rankings. But people expecting to see the attacking Brazil, who take the field with some arrogant disregard for defensive duties, may be disappointed. This is a Brazil side who look organised, efficient and know how to keep the ball out of their end, largely thanks to the phenomenal centre half pairing of Lucio and Juan.

Not known for producing defensive stars, Brazil have a back bone of two of the best defenders in the World at their disposal. Think Rio Ferdinand without the constant stream of aimless long balls. Both Lucio and Juan are solid in defence, but equally as dangerous and proficient in going forward when the time is right. In fact, after falling below their expected standards in Germany 2006, Brazil have undergone some sort of change, and have become even more ruthless in being extremely clinical with a counter-attacking approach to their games. The pace of attack is there. That old Brazil flair is there. It is just being used more intelligently in the grand scheme of things, and that should mean that they are even stronger than ever before. There clearly is no messing around from the South Americans, and that should put fear into the rest of the teams participating in the World Cup.

Dunga has instilled a strange new element of defensive duties in the Selecao, but this has not taken anything away from the Brazil that the football world knows and loves. This means Brazil are balance in defence and attack, and those old vulnerabilities are not there to be so easily exposed. The full on house-hold names of attacking stars may not be there, there may not be the wealth of experience with which they took to the 2006 World Cup, but the new Brazil is all round well prepared. The consistency is there in the team selection, something which Dunga enforced by not ceding ground to the pressure from the press to include such household names as Ronaldinho and Adriano. The measure of the Brazil World Cup squad can be measured by Ronaldinho’s exclusion. He is fit, he has been in startling, eye catching and lethal form for his club AC Milan, but still he could not break into the squad.

The defensive duo of Lucio and Juan have been the cornerstone of Brazil’s defence since 2005. That adds up to only three defeats in 37 games in which they have been paired together. In those games, Brazil have conceded just 21, a clear indication that Brazil know how to defend more than ever. The quality of Lucio has been on display in the Champions League this season, as his Inter Milan side have progressed to the final of the competition at the expense of Chelsea and Barcelona, whose star players have been squeezed out of the games. The defensive pairing are ready, and they are in form, with Juan playing for Inter Milan Serie A rivals Roma. All of these clear signals of the strength of Brazil, should put pressure on them to win their sixth world title. Their qualification campaign was a sign of what was to come, efficient and at times clinical, topping the group in the end by one point.

Brazil’s World Cup Record

  • They will have appeared in all 19 World Cup Tournaments
  • They have a World Cup Record of: W64, D14, L14
  • They have won the World Cup a record Five Times in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002
  • They have scored 201 World Cup Goals and conceded 84

World Cup odds may be just leaning towards Spain to lift the greatest accolade in football. But will the famous Amarelinha shirts be able to overturn what the bookmakers think where it matters, on the pitch? Is there a better nation in the world to handle the pressure of being favourites? They have the unquestionable quality in the likes of Julio Cesar in net, Maicon in defence, Kaka in midfield, and Luis Fabiano up front. The squad is expansive, organised and solid, if by no other definition by the names which have been excluded. The options have been tested and explored by Dunga in something of a methodical manner. Brazil are favourites to top Group G, which has been dubbed the Group of Death, with the Ivory Coast, Portugal in the mix, along with Korea DPR. There are no real surprises in the 23 man squad, to which seven stand-by players will be added. The defensive duo of Lucio and Juan are the epitome of just where the new Brazil are at the moment under Dunga, and well worthy again of their status of being one of the tournament front runners. Dunga’s approach may not be the most traditional way of Brazil, but it is effective. His side conceded just 11 goals in 18 qualification matches against some of the most attacking sides in the world.

Brazil 23 man squad:
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar, Doni, Heurelho Gomes
Defenders: Maicon, Dani Alves, Lucio, Juan, Luisao, Thiago Silva, Gilberto, Michel Bastos
Midfielders: Gilberto Silva, Felipe Melo, Josue, Elano, Ramires, Kleberson, Kaka, Julio Baptista;
Forwards: Robinho, Nilmar, Luis Fabiano, Grafite.

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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!

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