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Confederations Cup 2013 team previews: Brazil

Playing in front of their own fans, Brazil will likely care about this tournament more than anyone else. With their team finally clicking into place, they could well end up lifting the trophy.

Laurence Griffiths

The tournament hosts, Brazil will be hoping to find a consistency which has been lacking over the last few months. Wins for the Seleção have been few and far between of late, and with a home World Cup on the horizon, manager Luiz Felipe Scolari is under pressure to find a winning formula with a talented young squad. However, if their comfortable 3-0 warm-up victory over France last Sunday is anything to go by, he may have already stumbled upon it.

Despite having experimented with veterans like Ronaldinho and Kaká in Brazil’s last few matches, Scolari has been more youthful in his selection for this tournament. The 23 players he has selected average fewer than 18 caps each, though with the new generation of Brazilian stars looking extremely promising, that won’t provide an excuse for under-performance.

Scolari -- who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 -- took charge of the national team for a second time last November, but has only picked up only a couple of wins in seven attempts since. That certainly should change here. After all, the Confederations Cup isn’t just a dress rehearsal in Brazil’s preparations for hosting next year's World Cup -- it’s a dress rehearsal for them winning it.

Projected starting lineup (4-2-3-1)

GK Júlio César LB Marcelo CB David Luiz CB Thiago Silva RB Dani Alves CM Luiz Gustavo CM Paulinho LW Neymar CAM Oscar RW Hulk CF Fred

A highly attack-minded team, Brazil certainly shouldn't be short on goals. Fred is a powerful lone striker, and will look to bring the troublesome trio behind him into play. His starting position is assured, with another of Brazil's centre-forwards, Leandro Damião, out injured. With Neymar able to play all over the attack and Hulk often cutting inside off the flank, their interchanging and movement with the playmaking Oscar will make them an exciting and unpredictable threat.

Playing with two hugely offensive full-backs in Marcelo and Dani Alves, there'll be a lot of onus on the defensive midfield duo of Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho in providing cover. They'll likely both sit deep and concentrate on breaking up opposition attacks ahead of the central defensive duo of Thiago Silva and David Luiz -- though Paulinho does occasionally like to venture forward too.

Player to watch

Neymar. With his move to Barcelona now finally confirmed, even more of the focus will be on Brazil's poster boy, Neymar. Playing off the striker, hopefully he'll be given the attacking freedom to work the magic that has seen him light up the Brasileirão -- and the Brazilian national team -- over the last few years. He boasts a brilliant goalscoring record at international level, and will hopefully continue impressively under Scolari.

Prediction

Final. Playing in front of their home fans, Brazil will probably care about delivering in this tournament more than any other team. With their attacking lineup looking like it is finally clicking into place, they are obvious contenders. On paper only Spain look better than the Seleção, who will be looking to make the final as a bare minimum -- and who could well win the whole thing.