The hosts will head into football’s biggest competition as the favourites and will open the tournament with a match against their European rivals in Group A.
Luiz Felipe Scolari was the Brazil coach the last time the Selecao won the World Cup in 2002, and the former Chelsea manager will be determined to take his country to glory in their own backyard.
Brazil are blessed with a number of top quality players, including Barcelona’s Daniel Alves, Chelsea’s Oscar, Ramires and David Luiz (who will officially joined Paris Saint-Germain in the coming days), and Tottenham Hotspur’s Paulinho.
However, the gem of them all is a certain Neymar, who has been built up as the man to take Brazil to glory this summer. The Barcelona forward had a good 2013-14 season and will be keen to step up his game further for his country in front of their own fans.
No host nation has ever lost the opening game of the World Cup, but Croatia do have the potential to cause an upset at the Arena de Sao. Star striker Mario Mandzukic is suspended, but in Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, the 1998 World Cup semi-finalists have a player who can create havoc for the home country.
Here is how Brazil and Croatia will line up tonight:
Brazil XI: Julio Cesar; Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Paulinho, Luiz Gustavo; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred
Croatia XI: Stipe Pletikosa; Darijo Srna, Vedran Corluka, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsaljko; Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic; Ivica Olic, Nikica Jelavic