The highlights so far
PSG. Neither Barcelona, nor Chelsea, nor Juventus, nor Bayern. The team with the decisive players was PSG. Mbappé, DiMaria, Neymar, Cavani, Thiago. PSG. Neither Real Madrid had so many players deciding in the World Cup. Even so the team cannot win the Champions League. It seems a coach is missing…
Favorite. With the fall of Germany and Argentina, Italy and the Netherlands out of the Cup, Brazil becomes the favorite to win the title of the competition. It is the second in Fifa ranking, the first in digital engagement ranking, and the favorite in the main betting sports bookmakers in London and Las Vegas.
The Brazilian team approach. It improved the aerial balls attitude in the games against Serbia and Mexico. In the corners showed a man-ball merged marking, and did not allow anyone entered free to heading. Several times the players Willian and Coutinho returned to the penalty area to mark the crosses of the opponents. This set up a 6/3/1 formation at various moments of the game.
Aerial sequence. Regarding the possible path the Brazilian team will face is challenging considering its notorious difficulty in aerial balls. One likely route is Belgium/France/England. England invented the aerial game and lives on it. France eliminated Brazil in 3 World Cups and 1 Olympics using aerial balls. And Belgium has 8 players taller than the highest Brazilian defender (Miranda 1.86m). Belgium knows how to play well with the ball on the ground or high. It is not a systemic aerial balls team. It works the ball very well, with skill and precision.
FIFA Ranking. Brazil is in second place. Belgium is in third place. Germany is the leader, but it is already eliminated. It means the game Brazil against Belgium will probably decide who will be the new FIFA technical ranking leader.
Performance. Only 2 teams have 100% success so far: Belgium and Uruguay. Besides them, Brazil, France and Croatia are still unbeaten.
Rating. If the World Cup were a championship of running points the current classification would be as follows:
1) Belgium: 12 points, goal difference of 8
2) Uruguay: 12 points, goal difference of 5
3) Brazil (*): 10 points, goal difference of 6, 7 goals scored, 5 yellow cards
4) Croatia (*):10 points, goal difference of 6, 7 goals scored, 8 yellow cards
5) France: 10 points, goal difference of 3
6) England: 7 points, goal difference of 5
7) Russia: 7 points, goal difference of 4
8) Sweden: 7 points, goal difference of 3
(*) Brazil and Croatia tiebreaker in yellow cards.