Historically, Brazil hasn’t always found things easy against European opponents, and Coach Tite is concerned about their lack of matches against European teams. The Seleção has only faced one European side — the Czech Republic — since Belgium eliminated them in Russia. Serbia has failed to score in its two previous defeats to Brazil, though striker Aleksandar Mitrović is in great goalscoring form with nine goals in 12 appearances for Fulham, this season.
Neither team has many injury concerns. Premier League duo Richarlison and Lucas Paquetá have both been named in the Brazilian squad, as they recover from recent injuries. In good form, following wins against Norway and Sweden in September, Serbia has climbed to 24th in the FIFA Rankings. They looked to acclimatise with a friendly in Bahrain two days before the tournament begins, while Brazil’s last game before the World Cup was a 5-1 thrashing of Tunisia, in September. Brazil, ranked number one in the world, is unbeaten in 15 matches — since losing the Final of the Copa América to Argentina — and this match will give the Seleção an early look at the Lusail Iconic Stadium which will host the Final on 18th December.