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It is almost time for us. After a very few moments, Brazil will open the FIFA World Cup against Croatia at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.
At the beginning of May, Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari named his 23-man squad for the tournament. He did not pull any great surprises for the spectators. Like the definition, his team is as good as was proclaimed through the last 12 months.
But the thing that can’t be overlooked from the last two friendlies is the promising performances of Chelsea midfielder Willian. The 2002 World Cup winners must have thought about this great option. It is Oscar himself, who casted his Chelsea teammate into the limelight. The last two friendly matches are probably poling the position to take the central midfield role in front of Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho.
Willian Borges da Silva’s performances for Brazil have brought doubt over Oscar’s place in the team.
Under Scolari’s tenure, Oscar has never been threaten before like this. Some others like have already tried to make the Selecao playmaking role his own. Lucas Moura, Paulo Henrique Ganso and Philippe Coutinho are few of them. Now the greatest rival comes for him in the form of a player. He must also admit that the other one’s versatility has seen him make a sharp ascension to the national ranks.
Immediately after the Friday match against Serbia, Scolari said that his team is physically prepared. And he believes there is still time to prepare the side tactically before Thursday’s kick-off.
Definitely his plan will finally deploy either of the players between Oscar or Willian. But it is previously confirmed that with Oscar, it is more likely to bend towards the commonly favored 4-2-3-1 formation.
Oscar is far more inclined to get forward and aid Fred and Neymar in attack. And always looking for goals, more likely with double figures for the Stamford Bridge. Oscar truly has the ability to pries open defenses. Something like, with only one focused center-forward, he is definitely the key asset for the Brazilians during the World Cup 2014.
On the contrary, Willian is more defensively minded. Though his eye for a pass is also intact. Watching his displays last week, we can say that he gave all the right signals that he could be a fantastic midfielder for Brazil.
If we have to put an end to the question: Oscar or Willian, then he is likely to start in a more withdrawn role than Oscar, probably by resembling a 4-3-3 combination.
Yes Willian can pass, dribble and shoot. But the vital most thing about him, he is capable of tracking back and is willing to put in a defensive shift for the team. Paired with Paulinho in the middle of the park, they can make the opportunity to develop a potentially fruitful understanding between them.
And it is already proved that Paulinho can develop a better midfield partnership with Willian than Oscar.
As Oscar is always an advanced habitat, there is limited opportunities for Paulinho to burst forward. And if he is caught out of position, both Luiz Gustavo and the entire back line would be exposed.
Again with Willian in the centre of midfield, they can easily shuffle their position. The tactic is only feasible with Willian, not with Oscar. Obviously Oscar doesn’t have that kind of physical strength to compete in what could turn into a scrappy midfield tussle.
During Brazil’s last two friendlies, Willian’s impact was greater than that of Oscar. Oscar looked jaded after a long season and the birth of his first child. So for the circumstance, Brazil is likely more threatening prospect with Oscar had departed.
In a short competition like World Cup (with a maximum of seven games) Willian could well have the upper hand in Scolari’s mind.
Still Oscar is an established part of Scolari’s Selecao setup. As he was ever-present during the side’s run to the Confederations Cup crown. Everyone believes that he had done more than enough to merit inclusion.
May be Felipao’s philosophy admits for familiarity and confidence. And that has assured Brazil make such rapid progress under his tutorship. Back when he named this World Cup squad, Oscar was named with especial praise. Scolari has always described him as one of the best of the world. So, probably Scolari would have to be in a ruthless mood to decide, Oscar or Willian as he has to decide just one!!
But like every Brazilian fans, we believe that this team has grown together. Now they can win together.