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Neymar Brazil
Neymar Reuters

The 2014 Fifa World Cup will kick-start on Thursday as host nation Brazil face Croatia in Group A encounter at Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo.

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is set for 9pm BST. Live coverage is on ITV 1. Radio commentary of the game will be available on BBC Radio 5 Live.


Brazil qualified for the World Cup as the host nation and will have the home crowd supporting and rooting their players throughout the tournament, hoping Brazil to win the World Cup for a record sixth time.

The South American giants will be managed by the former Chelsea manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari. The Brazilian boss has already guided his nation side to win the World Cup in 2002 and would be hoping to emulate the same this year.

Brazil and Scolari have already won the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup after defeating the defending world champions Spain in the finals, with Neymar being their star player of the tournament.


Meanwhile, Croatia will be without the services of their star player Mario Mandzukic. The Bayern Munich striker picked up a red-card during his side's play-off against Iceland last November.

Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic, along with Real Madrid's Luka Modric hold key for Niko Kovac's side to seal a victory over Brazil on Thursday. Rakitic had a brilliant season with the Spanish club and he would be the start man for Croatia during the World Cup.

In the last two editions of the World Cup, Croatia have been knocked out of the group stages of the tournament.

What Managers Say

Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil): "To all Brazilians I want to tell you the time has arrived. This is our World Cup. There are seven steps. We have to go up those seven steps but to start we have to think of the first step. We can't jump the seven steps. The first step is tomorrow against Croatia. After that we have six steps that we want to go up if we want to win the World Cup."

Niko Kovac (Croatia): "Croatia never parked the bus against anyone and we won't start doing that now. At least that's what I hope for, because things don't always go the way you want them, no matter how good your plan is."

Team Form


  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W W W W W
  • Last Result: Brazil 1-0 Serbia


  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W W D W D
  • Last Result: Croatia 1-0 Australia

Team News

Luiz Felip Scolari Reuters


  • Injured: N/A
  • Doubtful: N/A
  • Suspended: N/A

Probable Lineup: Cesar; Alves, Luiz, Silva, Marcelo; Gustavo, Paulinho; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred


  • Injured: N/A
  • Doubtful: N/A
  • Suspended: Mario Mandzukic

Probable Lineup: Pletikosa; Srna, Lovren, Corluka, Pranjic; Vukojevic, Modric; Perisic, Rakitic, Kovacic; Olic